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Lady Rebels ready for postseason

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By Brian Blair

The 2010-2011 regular season will be one to remember for the Lady Rebels.
The team won 20 games for the first time since 2003-2004. Three separate players were named NCKC Player of the Week. Rianna Gayheart was named Eighth Region Player of the Year, and Head Coach Bob Osborne was named Eighth Region Coach of the Year.
This team, however, does not want to only be known for what they accomplished in the regular season. They want to have people remember them for what they do in the postseason.
The Lady Rebels opened up play last night in the 31st District Tournament at Henry County. A win would put them in the finals against either Carroll County or Gallatin County.
They went to New Castle with one thing on their minds. Bring back their fourth straight 31st District Championship. The last time the team failed to cut down the nets was in 2007 at Henry County. That year Owen County lost 42-41 to Carroll County. They have not lost a game in the tournament since.
The other part of their history-making equation would be to do something no other Lady Rebels team has done since 2002 — they want to win a game at the Eighth Region Tournament. That season the Lady Rebels reached the finals, where they fell to Shelby County. This year’s tournament is being played at Gallatin County.
Last week saw the team play their final two regular season games. Owen County opened the week by welcoming Anderson County to Owenton for Senior Night. Before the game, the team recognized three seniors in Samantha Toole, Christina Johnson and Mariah Fitzgerald.
All three scored in the game, but it was not enough as Anderson County avenged an earlier loss to Owen County by winning the game, 54-36. Toole had six points, Johnson five and Fitzgerald two. Newly-named Eighth Region Player of the Year Rianna Gayheart led Owen County with 17 points. Courtney Waldrop also had six points.
The Lady Rebels kept things close throughout the first three quarters before the Lady Bearcats out-scored them 15-5 in the fourth quarter to pull away. Owen County had defeated Anderson County 55-44 in January. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak.
Owen County finished off the regular season the same way they began, with a win over Grant County. Their 50-33 win over the Lady Braves was reminiscent of their recent loss to Anderson County. The game was close throughout the first three quarters, but on this night it was Owen County who out-scored Grant County, 19-7, during the final quarter to pick up the win.
Hannah Neeley led Owen County with 18 points. The sophomore connected on four of eight attempts from three-point range. Waldrop finished the night with 10 points and eight rebounds. Toole finished with eight points, Gayheart seven, Johnson four and Fitzgerald three.
With the win over Grant County, the Lady Rebels finished the regular season 20-5. The win-loss record was the best in the Eighth Region. Only one other team in the region, Walton-Verona, won at least 20-games.
The Lady Rebels then set their sights on five more wins. If they pull it off, it would not only make history but it would send them to a place no other Lady Rebels team has ever been — Bowling Green.