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Defense sparks Rebels

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By Brian Blair

The old saying goes defense wins championships.

For the Owen County Rebels, defense has been the difference since dropping the opening game of the season to Western Hills.

The Wolverines scored 57 points in their 1-point overtime win over the Rebels on night one.

In their next three games, no opponent has managed to score more than 44 points, resulting in three victories for the Rebels.

Trimble County and Carroll County were the latest opponents to struggle offensively and fall to Owen County.

The Rebels defeated the Raiders, 56-35, Dec. 7 before knocking off the Panthers, 77-44, Friday.

The wins improved Owen County to 3-1 on the season.

Owen County put three players in double figures against Trimble County.

Stone Osborne led the Rebels with 19 points. He made eight of 10 shots from the field including three of four from 3-point range. The junior also had six rebounds.

Freshman Jarrod Ball had a career-high 12 points followed by Zach Ripy, who added 11 points. Ripy also had six assists and two steals.

Sawyer Williams finished the night with eight points and six rebounds.

Collin Trammel had three points while James Stone had two points and Cody McDaniel had one point.

While he did not score, Justin Shelton contributed with seven rebounds.

The Rebels closed out the week by opening up 31st District action Friday night against Carroll County.

A young Panther team hung around for a quarter but quickly ran out of gas in the second quarter. They had no answer for Williams, who dominated the paint throughout the game. The junior finished the game with 26 points, but none were bigger than the two-handed dunk he had in the third quarter. That basket all but put the game away for Owen County. Williams also had seven rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals.

Williams said he felt strong most of the night.

“After the first shot went in, I felt good,” Williams said. “I didn’t even think about it. Everything was a blur when I went up.”

Owen County High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Devin Duvall said Williams is becoming the focus of the Rebels’ offense and getting him the ball is becoming the centerpiece of the Owen County attack.

“That’s the game plan every night,” Duvall said.

Duvall credited his team with playing tremendous defense all night and said that has been a main focal point in practice.

 “We try and bang it in their heads that they can play defense every night when every night your offensive game may not be there,” Duvall said.

Ripy also had another good night as he tossed in 16 points. Shelton finished with a career-high eight points while Osborne and Ball each added seven points. Collin Trammel and Tucker Trenary had four points. Cody McDaniel finished with three points and Cooper Taylor had two points.

Owen County was scheduled to be back on the floor last night in Warsaw against Gallatin County. They will remain on the road Friday night as they travel to New Castle to take on Henry County.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. following the girls’ game at 6 p.m.

The Rebels then wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule at home next Tuesday night against Walton-Verona.