Beginning the final week of the summer basketball season, the Cougars played host at the Cougar Den to teams from Central Hardin and Apollo and split the two games.
In the first game against Central Hardin, the Cougars trailed by as many as 15 points in the early stages of the second half, but came back to within two points of the lead with about 10 minutes left to play. But the Bruins pulled away after that and went on to an eight-point win, 46-38.
In the second game, the Cougars got 20 points from senior Spencer Sharp in a 47-39 win over the Eagles.
The Cougar were playing this game without senior Logan Majors, who rolled an ankle last week against Glasgow. The injury was not serious, but it was decided not to risk further injury in meaningless summer games.
A six-foot, leaning jumper by Sharp gave the Cougars a 7-6 lead early in the first half. They held that lead until an old-fashioned three-pointer by the Bruins’ Gavin George put his team in front 13-11 with 11 minutes left in the half.
Nolan Shartzer hit 1-of-2 free throws with 8:46 left to bring the Cougars to within a point at 13-12, but that would be as close as they would come to a lead the rest of the game. The Bruins closed out the half with a 9-0 run to lead by 10 points, 22-12 at the half.
When the Bruins scored the first five points of the second half, they led by 15 points, 27-12, but the Cougars began coming back at that point. Two Caleb Ray free throws with 10:04 remaining capped a 16-3 Cougar run that brought them to within two points of the Bruins, 30-28.
But back-to-back threes from junior Kyle Wilcox and a lay-in by George ballooned the lead to 10 points, 38-28 at the 6:58 mark, and the Bruins cruised the rest of the way. Wilcox led all scorers with 18 points, including three threes, and George added 11.
Sharp led the Cougars with 13 points, while Shartzer had 10. Shartzer also led the Cougars on the boards with eight rebounds. Josh Embry scored nine points and grabbed three boards.
Three Cougars, Ray, Evan Clark, and Brett Payton all had two points to complete the scoring.
Apollo junior guard Malik Wilson led all scorers in this game with 29 points, but only two other Eagles scored. That was offset by Grayson County by getting scoring from eight different players, including the 20 from Sharp.
After the Eagles scored the first eight points of the game, Cougar coach Travis Johnston called a timeout, trying to restore order.
The Cougars later put together a 10-2 run, capped by a Wyatt Schultz three-pointer, to grab their first lead of the day, 15-14 with 1:41 left in the first half. The Eagles came back to tie things at 17-17 with 18 seconds left, but a Ray three with four seconds remaining sent the Cougars into the halftime leading by three, 20-17.
A Wilson three-pointer at the 14:18 mark put the Eagles in front again 27-25, but the Cougars answered with six straight and were never headed afterward.
In addition to his 20 points, Sharp led the team with four rebounds and he added two assists and a steal. Ray hit a pair of threes and finished with eight points. Shartzer scored five points, while four Cougars, Schultz, Jaxon Higdon, Miles Hornbeck and Matthew Loughran scored three each. Payton added two to complete the Cougar scoring.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at email@example.com
Spencer Sharp played defense in the Central Hardin game.
Sharp had 13 points against the Bruins, then added 20 against Apollo.
Senior Caleb Ray hit a pair of threes against Apollo.
Josh Embry muscled up a shot against the Bruins.