All good things ...

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Lady Rebels’ season ends just short of regional finals

By Brian Blair

All good things must come to an end.
The magic carpet ride that was the 2010-2011 basketball season came to an end Friday night in Warsaw. Anderson County edged Owen County, 47-44, in the Eighth Region Semifinals. The loss ended the season for the Lady Rebels.
Friday night’s loss was similar to their first-round win March 1, only this time Owen County could not quite get over the hump.
Anderson County jumped out to an early 7-0 lead to start the game. Courtney Waldrop got Owen County on the board with 4:33 to play in the first quarter. The quarter saw Owen County get good looks at the basket, but it seemed nothing would go in. The Lady Bearcats enjoyed a 17-9 lead as the quarter ended.
The second quarter was much different. The Lady Rebels seemed to gain confidence as the quarter progressed, and as a result, they cut the deficit to 23-21 with 2:07 remaining in the half. Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the quarter, allowing Anderson County to take the slim lead into the half.
They did not enjoy the lead long after the second half began. Rianna Gayheart’s basket early in the third tied the game at 23-23. However, Anderson County ran off the next seven points to lead 30-23 with 3 minutes left in the third. The Lady Rebels did finish the quarter strong as Hannah Neeley scored the final four points for Owen County to make the score 34-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
For those who may be superstitious, the seven-point deficit was the same that the Lady Rebels faced March 1 when they headed into the fourth quarter against Simon Kenton. And just like that previous game, Owen County came to life in the fourth quarter.
A Gayheart 3-pointer immediately cut the Anderson County lead to 34-30. Another 3 by Gayheart with 6 minutes to play made the score 36-35.
The Lady Bearcats stretched the lead to 39-35 with 5:11 left. The Lady Rebels came right back as Gayheart made back-to-back buckets to tie the game at 39-39 with 4:20 to play.
The Lady Rebels had several chances from that point on to take the lead, but just could not take advantage. Just like in the first quarter, they missed some shots and had some critical turnovers when they couldn’t afford to.
A pivotal play of the game may have come with just under a minute to go when Anderson County was holding on to a 43-42 lead. The Lady Bearcats missed a shot and the ball seemed to bounce free for several seconds. Owen County had a chance to come up with the ball, but after several players tried to hold on, it was picked up by the Lady Bearcats who scored, pushing the lead to 45-42.
Following a Gayheart miss seconds later, Anderson County corralled the rebound and scored again to make the score 47-42. Waldrop scored with 2.9 seconds left to cut the lead to 47-44. Owen County fouled on the inbound pass. The Lady Bearcat missed the front end of the one-and-one. Owen County rebounded and called timeout, but could not get a shot off before time expired.
Gayheart finished the night with 19 points to lead Owen County. Neeley had nine, Samantha Toole eight, Waldrop six and Kennedi Dermon two points.
Sydney Brown led Anderson County with 19 points.
In the regional finals Saturday night, Walton-Verona started the fourth quarter with a three-point deficit, but rallied to defeat Anderson County by one, 40-39.
Owen County finished the season with a record of 23-6.