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It had been a while since the Owen County Rebels had been on the basketball court against an opponent. The Rebels last game prior to last week was Feb. 2 at Williamstown.
On Thursday night, road crews got enough of the snow removed to enable the Rebels to make their way to Walton-Verona. The Bearcats came into the game still riding high after winning the 8th Region All “A” Classic and advancing to the quarterfinals in Richmond.
Both teams wanted to play an up-tempo, physical brand of basketball over the first eight minutes that saw Walton-Verona take a 10-5 lead.
The start of the second quarter saw the Rebels run off 10 straight points to take a 15-10 lead. The Bearcats ended the half by going on a 14-6 run to take a 24-21 lead at halftime.
Walton-Verona maintained the lead through the third quarter and took a 35-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final eight minutes, the Bearcats pushed the lead to 40-31. The Rebels again bounced back, managing to cut the lead to 42-39 with 3:44 remaining. The Rebels then took the lead at 45-44 when Zach Ripy connected on a pair of free throws.
The Bearcats retook the lead with 1:30 remaining when Brandon Bowlin connected from three-point range. Jordan Shelton made one of two free throws just six seconds later to again cut the lead to one at 47-46.
The score remained the same when Bowlin went to the line with 27 seconds left. He missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Owen County got the rebound and a chance to win.
After calling a timeout with 10 seconds left, Owen County had a couple of shots but failed to connect and Walton-Verona forced a jump-ball with less than a second to play. The Bearcats made a free throw with .6 seconds left, making the final margin 48-46.
Sawyer Williams and Blake Lewis finished the night with 10 points each. Ripy added 8 points and Stone Osborne tossed in 7 points while pulling down five rebounds. Jordan Shelton finished with 6 points, five rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Colligan added 3 points and eight boards and Jarrod Ball had 2 points.
The boys went back on the road Saturday night as they traveled to take on South Oldham.
The Rebels and Dragons played a close game for three quarters. Heading into the fourth quarter South Oldham led 47-41. The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Dragons as they outscored the Rebels 28-13 to win the game 75-54.
Colligan had a big night as he poured in 26 points. Williams added 14 points while Shelton finished with 7. Osborne tossed in 6 while Justin Shelton had 1 point.
With the loss, the Rebels’ record fell to 13-8 heading into the final week of the regular season.
Weather permitting, Owen County is scheduled to be at home three nights this week. The first was against Oldham County on Monday night before hosting Walton-Verona on Tuesday. The Rebels will then play their final home game of the season Thursday night against Trimble County.