“That was a heavyweight fight,” Cougar Head Coach Tony Mosley said after his team fell to Floyd County, 44-38 on January 29. “They just lasted a little longer than we did.”
The Three Rivers District game was a defensive battle, with both teams playing full-court press defense for much of the game, causing turnovers and making points hard to get.
The game started with a show of sportsmanship from the visiting Lady Buffaloes. Patrick County senior Lilli Cobbler, who injured her knee in the previous game with Glenvar, could not play against Floyd. She was, however, in the starting lineup, and after an uncontested opening jump ball, Floyd allowed her to score on her senior night.
“I appreciate their coach for allowing us to do that,” said Coach Mosley of Buffaloes’ coach, Karen Radford. “She’s a class act.”
A pregame ceremony honored Lady Cougar seniors Shauntel Hill, Allanah Mitchell, Aniya Penn, and Lilli Cobbler, along with their families. It was also, “teal night” with most of the fans, along with both coaching staffs, wearing teal to support Patrick County’s Lauren Worley and Floyd County’s Micah Underwood, who were both severely injured in a car accident in December.
After allowing Floyd to tie the game at two, both teams played smothering, end to end defense, making it difficult for either team to get into any sort of offensive rhythm. Following an Aniya Penn three-pointer, the Lady Cougars grabbed an 11-9 lead with three minutes to go in the quarter. After several minutes of back-and-forth play, Floyd took a one-point lead to end the quarter at 13-12.
The second quarter was a tale of two runs. The Lady Cougars went on a 6-0 run to start the quarter only to have the Lady Buffaloes respond with an 8-0 run of their own, taking a 24-20 lead into halftime.
Patrick County played well in the third quarter but went cold shooting the ball. Many shots rattled around the rim, only to fall out. Floyd County took advantage and, despite tough defense from the Lady Cougars, extended their lead to seven by the end of the quarter at 38-31.
In the final quarter, the Lady Cougars closed the gap to three points with 5:24 to go but could not string together any sort of run. Both teams struggled against the opposing defense, with only 13 points scored by both teams in the quarter. Floyd County held onto their lead, winning the game by six points, 44-38.
One factor in the game was Floyd County’s rebounding. The Lady Buffaloes had a rebounding edge of 46-30, limiting second chance opportunities for the Lady Cougars. Another factor was the play of Floyd County’s Kiley Hylton, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds.
“That #34 (Hylton), she’s a baller,” said Cougar Coach Mosley. “She hurt us, she really did. In the first half, she had over half their points.”
Lilly Hazelwood led the way for the Lady Cougars with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Allanah Mitchell, Kendra Worley and Aniya Penn each added six points. Penn also had 6 offensive rebounds and 4 assists.
After the game, Coach Mosley said that playing that kind of hard fought, end-to-end game takes, “a lot of energy. I want to thank our fans for coming out and bringing all that energy, and I appreciate our girls for playing so hard. They played great. I’m proud of them.”