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For five years, the Owen County High School girls basketball team had been the dominant force in the 31st District.
Things changed last season when they were knocked off that perch. They are hoping a new year means a return to their old form.
The Lady Rebels began last season 10-3 before the calendar turned to 2013.
After Jan. 1, 2013, the team finished the season 8-8 to end up 18-11 overall. They would go 6-2 against district competition.
Those two losses would come against the same team.
Gallatin County High School knocked off Owen County Jan. 3 in Owenton and then again in the 31st District championship game. The second loss ended the Lady Rebels streak of five consecutive 31st District titles.
Owen County then saw another streak snapped in the eighth-region tournament when its opening round loss to Simon Kenton High School kept them from reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2010.
The team will be looking to capture that elusive Eighth Region All ‘A’ Championship. The Lady Rebels have not cut down the nets since 2004.
Going back to 2009 when team returned to playing in the tournament following a one-year hiatus, Owen County has reached the semifinals four times and the championship game once. The tournament tips off for Owen County on Jan. 14 at Carroll County against Walton-Verona High School.
Aside from the Eighth Region All ‘A’ Classic, the Lady Rebels will also take part in the Ohio River Classic at Raceland starting on Dec. 26.
If the Lady Rebels are going to get back on top in the 31st district, they are going to have to do it with just one player returning who saw significant playing time last season.
OCHS junior Kennedi Dermon, who will be limited due to an injury she received over the summer, is the lone returning player.
OCHS Girls Basketball Head Coach Bob Osborne should get some help from transfer Ashley Gravely, who comes to Owenton via Tennessee.
Gravely, a senior, can play several positions and should provide the team with some experience.
As for their schedule, Owen County will face seven teams that had winning records last season. Two of their opponents are defending district champs. Gallatin County won the 31st district and South Oldham captured the 29th district. Four other opponents - Collins, Grant County, Franklin County and Oldham County high schools - each reached the district finals. Both Collins and Oldham County reached the eighth-region semifinals while Franklin County made it to the 11th region semifinals.
Osborne will be in his eighth season at the helm of the Lady Rebels. In the previous seven seasons, he is 148-83 overall.
The Lady Rebels will be on the court for the first time on Tuesday night as they host Shelby County High School.
Owen County began last season on the road against the Lady Rockets and picked up a 45-43 win.
Shelby County finished 16-14 a season ago.