Playing in the second half of a boy/girl quadruple-header Saturday afternoon at Butler County, the Cougar boys split their two games with the Bears.
In the first game, the seventh-grade boys moved to 4-0 on the season with a one-sided, 46-29 decision over the Bears as they put three players into double figures.
The eighth-graders then lost for the first time this season, 56-43 to the undefeated Bears despite a monster performance from Hunter Tomes.
This game was pretty much decided in the first quarter when the Cougars blitzed the Bears on a 16-1 run to open things. Jerron Salazar came off the bench to toss in eight of his 10 points in the game as the Cougars led 20-3 heading into the second period.
The game evened out after that first quarter, but the Cougars led by 18 points at the half, 29-11. Grayson County was able to increase its lead to 22 points, 39-17 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Butler County’s Ty Price scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the final period to cut the final margin to 17.
Brayden Childress led the Cougars in scoring with 13 points and he added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Nolan Hornbeck was the third Cougar to score in double figures as he finished with 12 points. He also led the team on the glass with six rebounds.
River Blanton scored four points and pulled down five rebounds. Brayden Renfrow scored three points and led the team with four steals. Dillon Horn and Lucas Pierce completed the Cougar scoring with two points apiece.
Both teams came into this contest undefeated, but it was the Bears who prevailed in the end.
Keegan Sharp hit a pair of free throws with 2:12 left in the first period that tied the game at 6-6, but the Bears closed out the period with a 6-2 run to take a four-point lead, 12-8 heading into the second quarter.
That’s when Tomes began to dominate the action. The big forward controlled the glass, pulling down 10 of his 16 rebounds in the first half and scored 10 of his team-high 14 points, enabling the Cougars to overtake the home team. Grayson County led by seven points, 23-16 following two Tomes free throws with 30.6 seconds left.
But in a portent of things to come in the second half, the Bears’ Trey Stovall threw up a wild shot from behind the arc that somehow went in with 1.4 seconds left to cut the halftime Cougar lead to just four, 23-19.
Grayson County still led by four points, 31-27 at the 3:00 mark of the third quarter when the Bears began pulling away. They put together a 14-1 run that saw them retake the lead, 40-32 with 23 seconds left in the period. Then in the fourth quarter, the Bears hit four three-pointers and the Cougars had no answer.
Bear point guard Brody Hunt led all scorers with 20 points, including four from behind the arc. Stovall finished with 14.
Chandler McCrady and Zeb Bratcher both finished with 11 points, Keegan Sharp had five and Timmy Hanover added two to complete the Cougar scoring.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunter Tomes scored 14 points and pulled
down 16 rebounds in the 8th grade loss.
Brayden Renfrow drove to the hoop
in the seventh-grade game.
Jerron Salazar came off the bench in the
seventh-grade game and tossed in 10 points.