Playing host to the 3rd Region Freshman Girls Basketball Tournament, the Lady Cougars won their first game Saturday morning, but were eliminated later that afternoon.
In the early game, the Lady Cougars got double-figure scoring from Sarah Pierce and Jodi Decker as they downed Breckinridge County 53-46. In the late game, the number-one seeded Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces held Grayson County to just eight second-half points as they came back from an early deficit to eliminate the Lady Cougars 37-26.
The Lady Cougars started quickly, scoring the first 10 points of the game, including threes from Pierce and eighth-grader Allie Horton, forcing the Lady Tigers to call a timeout at the 2:30 mark.
Breck then scored the final four points and trailed by just six, 10-4 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Tigers were able to pull back to within two points of the lead, 15-13 with 1:39 left in the first half, but the Lady Cougars closed out the half on a 10-4 run to lead by eight points, 25-17 at the break. Kiara Brooks hit a three during the run, and Pierce capped it with a three at the buzzer.
When Pierce hit her third three of the game with 2:44 left in the third quarter, it completed a 14-7 opening burst that gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the game, 15 points at 39-24.
But the Lady Tigers weren’t done, though as they pulled back to within 10 points, 42-32 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Two Hannah Saltsman free throws with 5:25 left in the game increased the Grayson County lead to 13 points, when the Lady Tigers made a move to get back into it. They outscored the Lady Cougars 13-1 to pull to within a point of the lead, 47-46 with 2:42 left to play.
But that would be it for Breck. Grayson County scored the final six points of the game to salt away the win.
Breck’s eighth-grade point guard, Lily Grimes, who is still not 100 percent following a knee injury that put her on the sidelines early in the middle school season, led all scorers with 21 points. Mary Hinton joined her in double figures with 10 points.
Pierce led the Lady Cougars with 16 points and added five rebounds. Jodi Decker joined Pierce in double figures with 10 points and she led the team with four assists.
Horton scored eight and added four rebounds. Saltsman and Grace White had six points apiece, and White led the team on the boards with nine rebounds and added three steals. Saltsman added four rebounds.
Breanna Minton had three points, and Brooks finished with three.
Catholic led once in the first quarter, 4-3 at the 4:00 mark, but back-to-back threes by Pierce and a lay-in by White put Grayson County up by seven, 11-4with 2:32 left. The Lady Cougars led by four, 13-9 at the end of the period.
The Lady Cougars pushed their lead back up to seven points after a lay-up and 1-of-2 free throws by White made it 16-9 with 3:30 left in the first half, but the Lady Aces responded with seven unanswered points to tie things at 16-16 with 1:39 left.
Saltsman then hit a six-foot, baseline runner with 37 seconds left to give the Lady Cougars a two-point advantage, 18-16 at the half.
The two teams exchanged the lead twice in the third period before the Lady Aces scored with 3:02 left to take a 24-23 lead and they would not give it back the rest of the way. Grayson County had six straight empty possessions and trailed by four, 27-23 heading into the final period of play.
After the Lady Aces opened up a six-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lady Cougars were never closer than five points. Catholic scored the final six points of the game to win going away.
The Lady Aces’ Caroline Hayden led all scorers with 15 points, and Mikayla Berry had 10.
Horton and White led the Lady Cougars with seven points each, and White led the team on the boards with nine rebounds. Pierce scored six points and added six rebounds. Breanna Minton had three points, Saltsman added two, and Jodi Decker had one to complete the scoring.