Backup guard helps lead way to Cougars victory

With time about to expire in the second quarter Tuesday night, Grace Apgar launched a 3-point attempt that scraped the top of the backboard.

The Greenwood Christian Academy senior followed one of the worst shots of her basketball career — “I didn’t know how much time was left. I just chucked it,” she said with a laugh — with one of her best performances.

Apgar, a backup guard, scored all eight of her points in the second half as the Cougars pulled away from a halftime tie for a 40-28 defeat of visiting Lutheran.

Her first hoop, scored down low with 3:57 remaining in the third stanza, was part of a 12-0 Greenwood Christian scoring run to open the quarter. Eight more were provided by freshman forward Izzy Reed on her way to a team-high 11 points.

“This is definitely a good game for me,” said Apgar, whose three fourth-quarter buckets were scored in transition. “My teammates got me the ball when they needed to. They saw me, that’s all it is. I just ran down the court.”

Sophomore guard Alexis Mead added nine points for the Cougars, who ended what had been a five-game regular-season losing streak to the Saints.

Limited to only three points in the third quarter — a triple by junior guard Jaden Feller from the right baseline with 54.2 seconds showing — Lutheran closed to within 30-26 with 6:01 remaining in the fourth before Greenwood Christian again put together a flurry of points.

Apgar scored six, and Reed and backup post Morgan Haynes two apiece to lead the charge.

Cougars coach Alan Weems was pleased with the way his players responded after being tied with the Saints at the end of both the first and second quarters.

“I’m really pleased because we did not have a good first half,” he said. “Our challenge to start the second half was to come out and be ready to play. “We changed up on offense a little bit, and that helped. On top of that we played a lot better defense.

“You know, when you’ve got a few seniors and some experience, it’s easier to respond. These kids did.”

The Cougars now hit the road for a Thursday game at Hauser before returning home Jan. 11 to face Irvington Prep Academy.

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.