The middle school Cougars lost twice Monday evening in Cougar Gym to the visiting South Warren Spartans.
The seventh-graders trailed by 15 points at the half , but cut the deficit to 10 points near the start of the fourth quarter, only to give up an 11-3 run to trail by 18 points with a little more than two minutes left to play and lost 47-29.
The eighth-graders got double-digit performances from Mason Cariel and Isaiah Poteet, but lost 41-30.
Grayson County trailed by just four points, 6-2 at the end of the first period, but were outscored 15-4 in the second period to trail by 15, 21-6 at the half.
The Cougars then got three-pointers from Haylon Dean, Landon Haycraft and Kadin Hanshaw as they cut the lead to 11, 30-19 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Spartans scored to open the fourth quarter before Haycraft buried another three to cut the deficit to 10 points, 32-22 with 5:21 left.
The Spartans responded with six straight points before Samuel Clemons stopped the run with a three that made it 38-25 at the 4:16 mark. South Warren then got a three-pointer from Bryce Button and a 15-footer from Ty Croghan to complete the 11-3 run that pushed the lead to 18 points, 43-25 with 2:32 left to play.
South’s Easton Jointer led all scorers with 11 points. Haycraft led the Cougars with eight points, while Houston Brooks scored six. Clemons, Hanshaw and Dean all finished with three points, while Hayden Robinson, Zach Bratcher and Gage Napier all had two to complete the Cougar scoring.
The Spartans opened the game by scoring the first seven points and led by eight, 11-3 at the end of the first period.
The Cougars then opened the second period with a Poteet lay-in and a Cariel three to cut the lead to three points, 11-8 at the 4:09 mark. The Spartans responded by outscoring the Cougars 9-5 the rest of the period to lead by seven, 20-13 at the half.
When the Spartans opened the third period with a 9-2 run, they had increased their lead to 14 points, 29-15 with 1:38 left. Cariel closed out the period with another three to cut it to 11 points, 29-18 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Spartans then increased their lead to 15 points, 39-24 with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter before Poteet closed with back-to-back three-pointers that cut the deficit to nine points, 39-30 with 34 seconds left. Juan Honshell beat the buzzer with a rebound basket for the Spartans to make the final margin 11 points.
Poteet led all scorers with 14 points, while Cariel finished with 13. Raidon Warf scored two points, and Bradley Bishop closed out the scoring with one.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at email@example.com.