Apollo had an early lead against Grayson County Tuesday at Eagle Arena but the rest of the game was all Cougars as they dealt Apollo their third-straight loss.
After trailing 9-3 in the first quarter, Grayson County went on a run and never looked back during the 63-49 win over the Eagles.
Apollo coach Mark Starns said he knew the game was going to be a battle from what he’s seen from the Cougars on film.
“As I came in here tonight and I had the scouting report on the board, I said take a lesson from this group right here because that is the version that we want to be offensively,” he said. “Every one of these guys knew their roles, shared the ball, ran their stuff, they made us defend their stuff, the ball did not stick and they knew exactly what to do. They made us defend every play.
“A very disciplined basketball team. Coach Johnson does a great job with them. I watched the film on them and I told the guys ‘we’re going to be in a dogfight tonight.’”
The Cougars hit a 3-pointer to start the game but Apollo then jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the opening frame but it would be the only momentum they’d have in the contest.
Grayson’s River Blanton scored all 14 of the Cougars’ points in the opening quarter as he finished with a game-high 22 in the win.
Cougar coach Travis Johnson said he knows Blanton is going to bring it when the time comes.
“He’s a gamer. He’s going to do it more in games than he does in practice,” he said. “Practice wise, he doesn’t bring it like he does games. When the lights come on, he’s one of those kids that he ups his game quite a bit.”
Grayson led 30-13 at the break and continued their offensive onslaught in the second half.
Johnson said they’ve been able to get on runs in multiple games so far this season.
“We’ve still given up too much in bunches but our runs this year have been pretty much 7-0, 8-0 runs and we’ve extended it,” he said. “Obviously we have to do a better job on the other end but tonight I thought we guarded them really well.”
Cameron Frantz led the Eagles with 20 points in the loss but one area several Apollo players had issues scoring was around the basket.
Starnes said that problem isn’t limited to just the Eagles.
“That’s been a recurrence every game,” he said. “Not just for us, but it’s been for every team … It’s been very difficult for a lot of teams to score down there.”
Apollo will look to snap its three-game losing streak Saturday when the Eagles host Union County as the Braves downed AHS in the season opener.
Starns said Union has come confidence coming into the game and his team is working to find theirs.
“We’re trying to find our identity and get some confidence to get it rolling.”
Grayson County 63, Apollo 49
GC (4-2) 14 16 17 15–63
AHS (1-5) 9 4 10 21–49
GC: River Blanton 22, Keegan Sharp 7, Hunter Tomes 11, Dillon Horn 4, Brayden Childress 7, Chandler McCrady 10, Nolan Hornbeck 2
AHS: Harrison Bowman 6, Cameron Frantz 20, Luke Girvin 6, Landon Hamilton 2, Dan St. Clair 8, Jaden Kelly 5, Logan Rhinerson 1, Brady Ward 1
2021 basketball coverage is presented in part by Rhoads & Rhoads Attorneys at Law.