A scoring drought at the start of the fourth quarter spelled doom for the Lady Cougars Thursday night as the visiting Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces took advantage with an 11-1 run that broke open a tight, defensive struggle and sent them on to a 48-41 win in the Cougar Den.
The Lady Aces (18-6) came into this contest averaging better than 60 points a game, but an air-tight Lady Cougar defense had kept them frustrated all night. The score was tied 19-19 at the half, and after Grayson County (13-13) had led by as many as five points in the third quarter, it was a one-point game, 29-28 heading into the final period of play.
Trailing by six points, 13-7 near the start of the second period, the Lady Cougars got back-to-back three-pointers from seniors Hannah Saltsman and Brandi Minton to tie the score 13-13 with 6:31 left in the first half.
Sophomore Kenzie Renfrow put the Lady Cougar ahead with 1-of-2 free throws at the 5:16 mark before Saltsman buried another three at the 4:50 mark to make it 17-13. Saltsman later added two free throws with 2:43 remaining that capped a 12-0 Grayson County run and gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the evening, six points at 19-13.
But the Lady Aces, long the top team in the third region, scored the final six points of the half to tie things 19-19.
A rebound basket by Saltsman with 3:08 left in the third quarter capped a 10-5 Grayson County run and put them in front 29-24. The Lady Aces then closed out the period with a pair of baskets in the final minute to pull to within a point of the lead, 29-28 as the fourth quarter began.
That’s when the wheels fell off for the Lady Cougars. They missed on their next nine straight shots and turned the ball over three times. When Ellie Mitchel hit two free throws with 2:52 left to play, the Lady Aces had outscored Grayson 11-1 and led by nine, 39-30, and the game was decided. Mitchell led the Lady Aces with 13 points.
Saltsman hit three three-pointers on the night and finished with a game-high 15 points. Mackenzie Edwards hit a pair of threes and finished with eight points, while Minton had six points on two treys. Grayson County hit a total of seven threes in the game to none for the Lady Aces, but their inside game more than made up for it.
Renfrow finished the night with seven points while Laura Vincent and Ella Robinson both had two points. Vincent also led the team on the glass with five rebounds. Bailey Snyder completed the Lady Cougar scoring with one point.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ella Robinson made a pass along the baseline
in the first half.
Bailey Snyder drove past her Lady Aces defender.
Laura Vincent drove the baseline past her
Owensboro Catholic defender, Hannah McKay.