The McLean County High School girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams had games Friday night at home against the Ohio County Eagles. The girls had a solid 55-38 win followed by a battle among the boys that was decided in the final seconds of the game as the Cougars sealed the win, 61-60.
The girls jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and were up 12-9. The Cougars more than doubled their points in the second quarter while the Eagles fell just short of the same. Ohio County closed the gap in the third quarter and brought the score to 39-31. McLean County fired up in the final quarter of play and took the win by 17 points with a final score of 55-38.
Sarah King led the Lady Cougars with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and hit all eight of her free throws. Whitley Patterson had 12 points and five rebounds. Maddie Miller put up nine points and was a defensive standout with four steals. Kirstin Ayer had eight points and five rebounds. Jade Fulkerson added five each of points and rebounds and was 100 percent from the line.
The boys fell behind in the first quarter by three points but nearly tripled their score in the second quarter and were ahead 29-22 at the half. Both teams came out blazing after halftime and the game was tied up at 43 after a three-pointer by Sam Miller at the buzzer ending the third quarter. Miller had a steal that he scored on followed by a behind-the-back dribble for a basket by Will Hudson. Miller had another bucket and a few foul shots that put the Cougars up 54-53 with 3:10 left in the game. Trevor Turley snagged a rebound and shot a quick pass to Landon Adelman for a three. The Eagles came back and tied it up again and then pulled ahead by a basket with only 28 seconds left to play. Hudson sank a pair of foul shots and the game was tied again at 59 with less than 10 seconds left in the game and the crowd was on their feet. An Ohio County player was fouled but made only one of the shots, although it was enough to put them on top with 6.8 seconds left. The Eagles made the mistake of sending Miller back to the line after a foul and he barely moved the net on both shots putting the Cougars back on top with 3.5 seconds left to play. The Eagles inbounded the ball and made a half-court shot attempt at the buzzer, but it was no good and the game ended 61-60 in favor of the home team. The Cougar Den student section emptied as the fans stormed the court and the excitement was palpable.
“This was a good win for us and puts us in first place in the district. I am proud of how the boys battled and fought some odds to get this win. Jake played on a sprained ankle and we were without Harrison. Will and Sam both hit some clutch free throws down the stretch. A lot of guys stepped up and that shows we never quit. It’s always a hard fought game when you play in the district and this one was no different. We have to continue to get better,” said Head Coach Greg Stephens.
The next game for the Lady Cougars is tonight at home against Apollo. The junior varsity plays at 6pm followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m. The Cougars played Webster County at home on Tuesday and will travel to Henderson County tomorrow night for a varsity only game at 6 p.m.