BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY GETS BY GRAYSON COUNTY
Breckinridge County Sneaks By Grayson County
Exciting finishes are usually the case when it comes to Breckinridge County games with Grayson County Girls Basketball. Although both are in the 3rd Region, neither team is in the same District yet there is always an interesting storyline after the game.
Take last season for instance when both teams played two very competitive games during the regular season. The first one ended in a Grayson County victory when senior guard Allie Horton shot the lights out including two buzzer beaters at the end of quarter two and three to beat the Lady Tigers, 60-52. It was a well earned win on the road, but Breckinridge County returned the favor later that month when freshman guard Natalie Tabor buried her first and only three pointer with seconds left in a 53-52 bounce back win. Then to finish the rivalry off right that season, Grayson County returned the favor in the 3rd Region Tournament with an exciting 72-63 win over Breckinridge County despite senior guard Lily Grimes’ 31 points.
This season, both teams come in sporting not just new looks, but different coaches as well, as both Chad Moorman and Josh Basham have taken over for Jonathan Bennett and Travis Johnston. So after the first game between the two teams, a 54-51 Breckinridge County win shouldn’t seem that surprising as both teams have a habit of winning on the other’s floor, but it was more of an example of how things still seem the same even when they look a little different.
Both teams came into new season trying to replace their top scorer and best three-point sharp shooter and looked to do so with little difference as both came into the game with winning records (Breckinridge was 9-5, while Grayson was 9-8) even though the Lady Cougars were fighting through an injury bug losing top scorer Hannah Saltsman because of a broken wrist.
Still, it looked like neither team was focused early when Grayson County overcame a 7-0 deficit to take an 18-17 lead at the half. The most intriguing stat was that eleven of the Lady Cougars eighteen first half points came from the free throw line as the Lady Tigers were shooting cold after a fast start and were trying to deny both Saltsman, who was seeing her first action since her injury and sophomore guard Kenzie Renfro from driving and getting easy shots in the paint.
On the other hand, Breckinridge County was stone cold after their early burst and were shooting bricks from outside as Basham instructed his defenders to aggressively attack eighth-grade point guard Isabella Grimes (Lily’s younger sister) and not allow her to hurt them in transition which is where she was the most effective so far. Grimes was held scoreless in the first half, but that was about to change as the Lady Tigers came out on the attack in the second half and it was Grimes who lit the fuse.
First she put two straight three pointers through the net and then drove the lane for another two before hitting her third from outside. “My big problem is that when I miss a couple I stop shooting because I’m afraid to miss, so I just have to keep shooting.” said Grimes, who would finish with 16-points helped get Breckinridge County back in the lead, while Saltsman was struggling in her first action back before she hit her first three late in the fourth at a time when it appeared the Lady Tigers were going to run away with the game.
With the Lady Tigers holding a 50-47 lead with 35-seconds remaining, the game suddenly turned on a comedy of errors by both teams as neither seemed to want to either hold on to the lead or retake it. Breckinridge County senior guard Riley Collins hit two free throws to make it 52-47, then Renfro cut into the lead with a driving layup to make it 52-49 with 00:24 left. When Grayson County tried to deny the half court inbound pass, Aleigha Mucker took off down court and caught the pass, but was called for shuffling her feet when she tried to regain control of her dribble turning the ball over. Grayson cashed in with a Saltsman layup to make it 52-51 and after fouling Tabor, the sophomore missed her second free throw, but Breckinridge County rebounded, but Grimes, trying to run out the clock was called for dribbling too high while trying to avoid Renfro. Unfortunately, Grayson County returned the favor when the inbounds pass was a little high and Saltsman was unable to control the inbounds.
With mere seconds left, Kayla Young corralled the inbound pass and was fouled with just 0.7 left and her two free throws finished the scoring during a chorus of unhappy fans of the home team.
“ The first quarter wasn’t very good, but I feel like after we got our heads back in the game then we started to play better then. When we got up then we started to play better after the first quarter.” said Renfro who has taken over the team scoring mantle due to Saltsman’s absence was disappointed, but felt better when the Lady Cougars started to close on their competitor near the end.
Breckinridge County loves to run and score in bunches. They have averaged over 70-points or more five times already, while Grayson County likes to slow things down and force you into a half court game where their defense and free throw shooting can take over. Most of their games are around the fifties.
So even though the names are different from previous seasons, the games look pretty much the same in the newest installment of the Breckinridge County – Grayson County Girls Basketball rivalry and it has already proven to be extremely entertaining.