ELNORA — Washington had the right strategy at the right time, but lost the game in the process.
Washington rallied from seven-point fourth-quarter deficits twice against North Daviess, and placed the right pressure at the right time against the right player.
But the Cougars came away with a 35-33 win at the Cougar Den Saturday.
Despite facing double and triple teams in the final minute, Nick Crays was able to find an opening with seven seconds remaining to score his game-high 18th point to hand the Cougars (3-0) the win.
“When people ask me about Nick Crays, I tell them they know how good he is on the floor,” North Daviess coach Brent Dalrymple said. "Off the floor at practice, he’s just that much better. He really had to work on his shooting, because that was about the only thing he could do this summer, and I think he’s shooting the ball about as well as I’ve seen him shoot it.”
“I thought Colten (Garland) did a pretty good job on him (Crays),” Washngton coach Gene Miiller said. “We then started doubling him at the end, and we had forced some turnovers to get us back in the game.”
The Hatchets (0-3) forced North Daviess into two time outs in the Cougars’ final possessions by sending two and three players to trap Crays as he brought the ball into North Daviess’ offensive end.
Washington even used a foul it had to give against the North Daviess guard with 18 seconds remaining to slow Crays down.
But Crays found an opening on the right baseline as Washington double-teamed Adam Wagler.
Crays made the eight-foot jumper for the game’s final points.
“I’m not sure what happened on the play,” Miiller said. “He gave it up and we double-teamed the guy with the ball and left Crays open. You just can’t leave him open, that’s for sure.”