Playing games on back-to-back nights over the weekend, the Cougars picked up a win Friday night in Morgantown, 61-58 over district rival Butler County, but dropped a 3rd Region bout, 57-40 to the visiting Owensboro Catholic Aces Saturday evening in the Cougar Den.
This was a game in which the largest lead by either team was five points, so it was only logical to assume that it would come down to who had the ball last. As it turned out, that happened to be the Cougars.
When Jaden Hurt hit a six-footer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation, it appeared the game would be going into overtime tied at 58-58. But the Cougars called a timeout with 3.4 seconds left to try to work out a play for a game-winning basket. What they came up with turned out to be prefect.
Sophomore Nolan Shartzer took the ball at full speed from the end line, took a couple of long dribbles, then pulled up from about 30 feet away and let fly. As the ball arced toward the basket, the final buzzer sounded, and when the ball rippled the nets, the Cougars had their victory.
There were three lead changes in the opening period before the Cougars came away with a three-point lead, 13-10. They still led by three-, 27-24 at the half.
The third quarter was hotly contested, with six lead changes and a couple of ties before the Bears took a two-point lead just before the end of the period, 47-45. As the final period progressed, neither team could create any distance and it continued to be nip-and-tuck.
Caleb Beasley’s rebound bucket with 2:51 left tied the score at 56-56. The Cougars then had a pair of free throw opportunities that could have built a late lead, but could hit just 2-of-4 for a 58-56 lead with 40 seconds remaining that set up the final winning sequence for the Cougars.
Parker Rice led the Bears in scoring with 15 points, while Brennan Grubb had 14.
Shartzer led the Cougars with 20 points and he also led on the glass with six rebounds. Bailey Logsdon joined him in double figures with 16 points and he added five rebounds. Logan Majors score nine points and Caleb Ray scored nine, all on three-pointers.
Cameron Wells scored five points, while Josh Embry had four to complete the scoring.
This game was pretty much decided on the boards. Though the Aces outrebounded the Cougars 28-19, it seemed the margin was much bigger than that as the Aces would sometimes get three or four shots during a possession.
Add ti that the cold shooting the Cougars suffered through and it was the perfect scenario for a loss. Grayson County hit just 2-ff-9 shots in the first period and trailed 12-5 heading into the second quarter.
They hit just 3-of-10 in the second period and trailed by 15 points, 29-14 at the half. The 5-of-19 shooting figures out to a polar 26 percent from the field.
When the Aces opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run, including eight in a row, the lead ballooned to 22 points and the Cougars never recovered.
Wyatt Schultz led the Cougars with nine points, while Logan Majors had eight. Logsdon scored seven, Ray and Wells had six apiece, while Embry and Shartzer had two each.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Embry made a pass to the wing in the first half
against Owensboro Catholic.
Nolan Shartzer put up a shot against Butler County.