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INDEPENDENCE –– Just how bad was Grayson County’s third quarter Friday? Despite putting up a goose egg, it was still slightly better than Galax’s first quarter.
The Blue Devils overcame an eight-minute scoring drought to open the second half, hit just enough free throws to make the difference and handed Galax its first Mountain Empire District loss of the year, 29-26 Friday.
Having held Galax (7-6 overall, 2-1 MED) to just 11 points in the first half, Grayson County (9-4, 2-1) managed a mere 19 itself by halftime, which was hardly enough to afford to go scoreless the entire third quarter. The Blue Devils missed all eight field goal attempts in the third but Galax could only trim the margin to two points as neither team scored the final 5:30 of the period.
Grayson led 21-17 early in the fourth on Meredith Frost’s cut to the bucket, but Galax caught the Blue Devils at 21 when Paige Hanks hit a 15-foot jumper and Sydney Lindsey finished a fast break with 6:22 to go.
Inside buckets by Camryn McGrady and Madison Shupe put Grayson back in front by four, but the Maroon Tide would take its first lead of the night with a 5-0 spurt that ended with Carolyn Vaughan’s midrange jumper with 2:10 to go, putting Galax in front 26-25.
Galax wouldn’t score again, though the Blue Devils provided several opportunities for the Tide to do so. McGrady scored off of Sarah Eller’s steal with 1:41 left for a 27-26 Grayson County lead, but the Blue Devils hit just 2-of-6 free throws down the stretch. The Maroon Tide couldn’t get the big shot to fall in the waning seconds and missed a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The cold finish was nothing next to the Maroon Tide’s start as Galax misfired on its first 14 shots from the floor, made one of its first 26 and hit just 3-of-33 in the first half. Many of the misses were due to McGrady, who had seven rejections in the first half alone.
A Lindsey foul shot at 2:43 of the period was Galax’s only point of the first quarter as Grayson County bolted to a 12-1 lead with most of the scoring coming from the outside. Shupe hit back-to-back 17-footers, McGrady scored from 12 feet away and Taylor Cannaday hit the game’s only 3-pointer. Emily Hart’s long jumper closed the period with Grayson ahead by 11.
Susan Davis opened the second quarter by scoring from near the top of the key to break the ice for Galax, but the Devil lead grew to 15-3 before the Maroon Tide began clawing its way back into the game. Vaughan and Lindsey Ayers each hit two foul shots and Lindsey drove the lane for two, helping the Maroon Tide pull to within 19-11 by halftime.
The two teams were a combined 1-for-28 from 3-point range, including 0-for-18 by Galax, which shot 10-of-65 (15.4 percent) for the game. Grayson was only slightly more accurate, hitting 11-of-45 (24.4 percent) and went 6-of-16 from the foul line.
Shupe led Grayson County with 10 points while McGrady finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks.
Lindsey had 11 points and 18 rebounds to pace the Maroon Tide.
Galax..........................1 10 6 9––26
Grayson County......12 7 0 10––29
Galax (7-6, 2-1)
Davis 1 0-1 2, Ayers 0 2-2 2, Hanks 1 0-0 2, Vaughan 2 3-4 7, Cassell 1 0-0 2, Lindsey 5 1-2 11. Totals 10 6-9 26.
Grayson County (9-4, 2-1)
Frost 1 1-2 3, Eller 0 1-4 1, Halsey 0 2-4 2, McGrady 4 0-0 8, Hart 1 0-0 2, Cannaday 1 0-0 3, Shupe 4 2-5 10. Totals 11 6-15 29.
Three-point field goals – Galax 0-18, Grayson County 1-10 (Cannaday). Rebounds – Galax 51 (Lindsey 18), Grayson County 44 (McGrady 11). Turnovers – Galax 20, Grayson County 24. Team fouls – Galax 18, Grayson County 12. Fouled out – Lindsey. Technical fouls – none.
JV – Grayson County won