by Ben Hanneman
The Pulaski County Lady Cougars ran into a one-player wrecking crew Monday night and dropped a 44-36 decision to the Galax Maroon Tide in Galax.
Sophomore Sydney Lindsey rang up 20 points and hauled in 17 rebounds for Galax as the Cougars fell to 0-3 on the young season.
“She had a big game. She played hard, but we gave her plenty of opportunities,” said Cougar head coach Jason Grubb.
Grubb’s crew rolled with the Tide in the opening quarter to keep it close, 12-8, after the first eight minutes. But flat play cost the Cougars in the second as Galax outscored them 16-5.
“We just had no energy in that first half,” Grubb said.
And the rebounds for put-back points were no help either. Galax grabbed 20 offensive rebounds in the second stanza alone to outscore the Cougars 16-5 before the break.
“We gave away way too many second-chance baskets. We just didn’t block out,” he added. “Offensive rebounding is a good sign whether you’re getting after the ball. It takes desire to go after it.”
Pulaski picked up the overall intensity a bit after the break, holding the Tide to 13 points in the third and scoring 10.
Offensively, the Cougars simply couldn’t break out of the shooting doldrums that plagued them most of the night. Overall Pulaski made just 10 of 42 shots from inside the three-point arch. The Cougars sank just one of 12 from beyond the line.
“We took good shots, but they just weren’t falling,” Grubb said.
The Cougars went to the full-court press in the fourth and made up some ground on the scoreboard, outscoring the Tide 13-3 in the final frame.
“As the game went on we did pick up the intensity,” Grubb said. “But we’ve got to have a better effort. Galax played with intensity from the get-go. We’ve got to rebound better and block out Lindsey.”
Jordan Chrisley led Pulaski with nine points, connecting on three of 10 shots from the field including one three-pointer. Chrisley was 2-for-6 from the free-throw line.
But it was her play away from the ball that impressed Grubb most.
“She played with a lot of intensity,” he said. “She did her part to help lead her team.”
The Cougars have little time to recuperate from this one. They are back in action Wednesday night at Carroll County. They’ll finish off a three-game road trip against Central (Wise) High School next Wednesday, December 19, before hosting Galax December 12 at 7 PM.