Lady Rebels’ leader looks back and forward

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By Brian Blair

Girls’ basketball in Kentucky came to a close Saturday night in Bowling Green. Rockcastle County defeated Manual to claim its first State Championship.
The season ended a week earlier for the Owen County Lady Rebels. Despite the disappointment of losing in the Eighth Region Semifinals, the team and the coaching staff have much to be proud of.
“Great season with 23 wins and a District Championship,” Owen County High School Head Girls Basketball Coach Bob Osborne said.
The Lady Rebels did win their fourth-straight 31st District Championship and won a game in the Eighth Region Tournament. They finished the season with a record of 23-6.
Three seniors played their final games in the maroon and white. Christina Johnson, Samantha Toole and Mariah Fitzgerald will all graduate this year. Each gave the team important minutes and will be missed.
The prospects for next season continue to be bright. The Lady Rebels will return three starters, including the Eighth Region Player of the Year, Rianna Gayheart. The other two starters are Hannah Neeley and Courtney Waldrop, who will be looking to have big junior seasons.  
“We have a lot of talent (for next year),” Osborne said. “With returning starters, young players and Madison (Gamble) coming back, we could have a very good year.” Also returning will be Kennedi Dermon, who as an eighth-grader gained valuable experience down the stretch and should provide the team with scoring next year.
Owen County fans could have a lot to look forward to when October rolls around. The head coach thinks so. “I am very excited about next year.”