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Lady Rebels lose lead, then district title

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By Brian Blair

By Brian Blair
N-H Sports Reporter
Saturday night’s 31st District championship game was a tale of two halves.
The Owen County High School girls basketball team won the first half and lead Gallatin County 26-16 at halftime.
Unfortunately for the Lady Rebels, the Lady Wildcats got things together in the second half and outscored Owen County 27-10 to win the game and the district title 43-36.
The loss ended a streak of five-consecutive district titles for the Lady Rebels.
Before Saturday night, Owen County had won 11-straight games in the 31st District Tournament.
Down by 10 at halftime, the Lady Wildcats began to chip away early in the second half.
Back-to-back baskets cut the Owen County lead to 26-20.
The Lady Rebels struggled in the quarter to get things going on offense and scored just three points and saw their advantage shrink to 29-26 with eight minutes left.
A lay-up by Mikkah Hignite on Gallatin County’s opening possession of the fourth quarter cut the lead to 29-28.
A jumper by Madison Gamble seconds later pushed the Owen County advantage back to 31-28.
Little did they know it would be their last field goal for quite some time.
While the Lady Rebels could not put the ball in the basket, Gallatin County found its rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. They would take a 32-31 lead with 6:20 left in the game when Hignite hit a jumper.
The Lady Wildcats would score the next five points to extend their lead to 37-31.
Courtney Waldrop scored to cut the lead to 37-33 with 1:12 to play. It was the first Owen County basket since Gamble scored nearly six minutes earlier.
The senior Waldrop would then make a pair of free throws with 19 seconds to play to make the score 39-36.
Gallatin County would close out the game by making four-straight from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Waldrop led Owen County with 10 points followed by Gamble with eight points. Madison Reed finished with seven points while Shelby Gambrell added six. Hannah Neeley pitched in three points while Kennedi Dermon added two points.
The Lady Rebels reached the title game Friday night by defeating Carroll County 56-30.
The game was delayed one day after freezing rain postponed the action on Thursday.
 After leading 8-7 after the first quarter, Owen County dominated the Lady Panthers the rest of the contest.
Dermon had a big night offensively as she scored 17 points. Gamble added 15 points. Waldrop dropped in eight points while Reed and Neeley each scored five points. Gambrell had four points and Julie Spaulding got two points. The loss dropped Owen County to 18-10 on the season.
Gallatin County reached the finals for the second season in a row by getting past Henry County 51-21 in the semifinals.
For their efforts, Waldrop, Gamble and Neeley were named to the 31st District All-Tournament Team.
Before Saturday night’s game, Neeley, Waldrop and Reed were named to the All NCKC Team.
The Lady Rebels will begin play in the Eighth Region Tournament tonight (Wednesday) when they take on Simon Kenton at North Oldham. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Pioneers are 26-5 on the season having defeated Grant County 60-27 in the 32nd District finals.
This will mark the fourth time the two teams have met in the opening round of the tournament.
The Lady Pioneers defeated the Lady Rebels 54-30 in 2007 and 60-42 in 2010. Owen County returned the favor with a 38-36 win in first round in 2011.

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