Lady Rebels looking to add fourth title

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By Brian Blair

The Owen County Lady Rebels have won three straight 31st district championships. They hope they are not done yet.


The Lady Rebels get set to open another basketball season Monday night at home against Grant County.


Owen County finished last season 17-10. The team again captured the 31st district title by knocking off Carroll County 49-37 in the finals. They lost to Simon Kenton in the first round in the eigth-region tournament.


The team lost several players to graduation who were keys to their success over the last three years.


Jensen Wainscott, Eko Kemper, Emilie Davis and Lauren Lowe  are gone.


“You just have to move on,” Owen County High School Head Girls Basketball Coach Bob Osborne said.


The team returns four players who started games last season.


The team will be led by Rianna Gayheart, a junior guard who finished last season averaging 12.5 points a game.


She also pulled down four rebounds a game last year.


Joining Gayheart in the backcourt will be Hannah Neeley.


The sophomore played well during her freshman season, averaging 8.5 points a game and is expected to contribute even more this year.


Inside, the Lady Rebels will once again rely on senior Samantha Toole to anchor the action in the paint.


Toole averaged 4.1 points a game last year and was the co-leader in rebounds on the team with 4.9 rebounds a contest.


Another player who will see plenty of action around the basket will be Courtney Waldrop.


As a freshman, Waldrop averaged 2.4 points a game while grabbing 2.3 rebounds. Like Neeley, the sophomore played some important minutes a year ago and will be looked to do the same this year.


Also expected to contribute will be a pair of seniors in Christina Johnson and Mariah Fitzgerald.


Johnson averaged 2.5 points a game last year while Fitzgerald scored 2.7


Osborne said his team is somewhat handcuffed by how many girls have come out for the team but he also said, “We are limited in numbers but high in quality.”


The Lady Rebels will get no breaks when it comes to their schedule.


In addition to playing their usual district schedule, the team will play Walton-Verona and Anderson County each twice. They also have games with South Oldham, Oldham County and Shelby County.


As for the district, Osborne said his team needs to be ready to play every night.


“We definitely have a target on us,” Osborne said.


The team has some high expectations going into the 2010-11 season, Osborne said.


The Lady Rebels are looking to once again win the district as well as making some noise come eighth-region tournament time.


The All “A” Classic this year will be held at Walton-Verona.


Although the Lady Bearcats will be the favorite, Osborne believes his team will still have a legitimate chance to cut down the nets.


With the start of the season just days away, Osborne said he is hoping to see the same results in games that he has seen in practice. “We just need to transfer practice to games.”


Will that happen? Osborne, along with the rest of Owen County, will find out starting Monday night.