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Last season was one to remember for the Owen County Lady Rebels. The team captured the 31st District Title en route to a 19-win season and a trip to the 8th Region Tournament. The team also won the Gallatin Steel Invitational just after Christmas last season. The girls won the first three games of the tournament handily before defeating Meade County 39-38 in the championship game.
Heading into the 2008-09 season, the team is looking to continue its successful ways. It will not be easy but the team and their coach believe they have what it takes.
The Lady Rebels will have to replace two key members of last year’s squad.
Coach Bob Osborne lost Kelsey Williams and Kendall Cochran to graduation but he returns a group of young players who are hungry to keep the winning going.
“The kids feel like they should hold up to the winning tradition,” Osborne said before a recent Lady Rebel practice.
The team has been working hard during the off season.
Osborne said many players have been lifting weights since April.
Osborne said fans should see a team that is a lot stronger and a lot quicker. As a result, fans will also see a different style of play once the season begins.
“We will try to push the ball,” Osborne said. “We have kids who like to run.”
Some of those kids include juniors Jensen Wainscott, Lauren Lowe and Eko Kemper. All three saw a significant amount of minutes last year and will be expected to provide more leadership this season.
Osborne said he expects that leadership to come from many different sources.
“It will be leadership by committee,” Osborne said.
Joining the juniors on the floor will be Rianna Gayheart, a freshman who joined the team in the middle of last season and saw plenty of minutes on the floor. She was the leading scorer in the team’s loss to Anderson County in the 8th Region Tournament.
Another player who will also be counted on this season will be Samantha Toole. The sophomore will be looked to step in and try to give the team some of the production lost by the departure of Kelsey Williams.
Osborne said heading into the season everyone is healthy and ready to get things going.
They will not have to wait much longer as the season tips off Monday with a home game against Grant County.
The schedule features games against regional foes Oldham County and South Oldham as well as stepping outside the region to take on Western Hills. The Lady Rebels will also play in the North American Stainless Classic at Carroll County just before Christmas.
Osborne and the team are also excited about being able to take part once again in the All “A” Classic.
Not only are they looking forward to competing in the event again after missing it a year ago but they get to be the host school for the 8th Region.
“It’s really neat to get to host the tournament,” Osborne said.