GRAFTON—On Wednesday, the Grafton High School (GHS) Bearcat basketball team took an early lead over the Lincoln Cougars and never looked back.
The Bearcats were quick to jump out ahead of the Cougars taking a five point led after the first quarter of action, with the score sitting at 15-10.
Coming out strong in the second period, Grafton continued adding to the scoreboard, doubling their lead, and heading into halftime with a comfortable ten-point lead.
However, Lincoln had battled their way through the tough Bearcat defense and was able to add 14 points to their own side of the board before the half, refusing to allow the Cats an easy victory.
But the Bearcats still proved to be too much for the Cougars to keep at bay. When the third quarter of play came to an end, Grafton continued to remain ahead with a score of 46-39.
Finding a burst of energy for the final eight minutes of play, the Bearcats would go on to put up 20 points during that last quarter and ultimately claimed the 66-54 victory.
On the night, the Cats found rhythm at the free throw line, only missing one attempt, shooting 93 percent from the stripe, while only giving the Cougars eight free throw attempts, of which they managed to sink six.
Junior Bearcat Tanner Moats led the scoring efforts for his team, tallying 21 points on the night, while junior Kaden Delaney added 15.
Blake Moore, one of Grafton’s three senior players, put up 14 points and was perfect at the charity stripe, connecting with all six of his attempts.
Sophomore JT Veltri also shot 100 percent from the free throw line, and added six points to the team’s score.
The Cougars had three players, Bart, Snyder and Hawkins, each score 12 points.
The Junior Varsity (JV) Bearcats also went head to head with the Cougars’ JV team, but unfortunately did not fare as well.
The young Bearcats struggled to get their offense going from the start, and after the first quarter found themselves down by ten.
Beginning to get in their groove, Grafton added ten points to their score during the second quarter, but remained a step behind the Cougars, going into the break down 16-38.
Despite their best efforts, the Bearcats were unable to match the tempo of the game. The fierce Cougar defense made scoring difficult and held the Cats scoreless in the third quarter.
While Grafton never gave up and continued battling until that final buzzer sounded, the team fell short, and dropped the contest 24-46.
Isaiah Vanscoy led the Bearcats in scoring with six points, coming from two three-pointers.
Isaac Lough, Harrison Maier and Cayden Boylen each contributed five points to the team’s score, and Garrett Hutson rounded out Grafton’s scoring with one bucket.
For Lincoln, it was standout J. Brooks leading the way, as he connected with five shots from behind the arch and finished the night with a total of 19 points.
The Bearcats faced off against Liberty on Friday night. The results from that contest will appear in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.