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Several questions faced the Rebels as they entered play last week against Eminence.
Would Owen County be able to get healthy after an eight-day layoff? How would the Rebels respond to an opening round loss to Gallatin County in the All “A” Classic?
The answer to the first question can be answered with a resounding no.
While senior Blake Lewis was able to get back on the floor against the Warriors Jan. 26, another senior was not quite as fortunate.
Senior Kyle Kelly turned an ankle in practice leading up to the game and will be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks.
As for question number two, the Rebels came out and dominated Eminence in the first and fourth quarters to pick up a 69-46 victory.
The game got off to a unique start as the Warriors received a technical foul before the opening tip-off for dunking during pregame warm-ups. As a result, the Rebels’ Jordan Shelton went to the free throw line following the announcement of the starting lineups. The senior missed both and the Rebels were given the possession of the ball. It would be about the only negative thing Shelton did all night.
Just 30 seconds into the action, another slamdunk got the Owen County crowd on its feet. The Rebels forced a turnover thanks to its full-court pressure.
Sawyer Williams converted the steal into a two-hand jam and the Rebels were on their way.
The rest of the first quarter was controlled by Owen County as the Rebels jumped out to a 21-8 lead at the end of eight minutes.
To their credit, the Warriors did not quit. Eminence picked up the quality of their game to put themselves right back in the game. After trailing by 16 points at halftime, the visitors cut the Owen County lead to 42-36 with 2:30 left in the third quarter. It would be as close as the Warriors would get.
“We came out flat in the third quarter,” Owen County Head Basketball Coach Devin Duvall said after the game. “Thankfully, there in the fourth, we knocked down some shots, got some turnovers and made some free throws.”
The Rebels took a 48-38 lead into the fourth quarter and extended it to 59-38 early in the quarter before Eminence scored again.
Owen County eventually won the game, 69-46.
Williams led the Rebels with 19 points. The sophomore also grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals. Shelton added 15 points while pulling down nine rebounds. The senior also blocked a school record 11 shots.
Michael Colligan added 11 points. Zach Ripy, who got the start in place of Kelly, added eight points. Stone Osborne tossed in five points while Lewis hit a three-pointer in his return to action following an ankle injury. Jarrod Ball came off the bench with four points along with Lucas Shelton who had three points. Ethan Lloyd hit a late free throw for his only point of the game.
The win improved the Rebels to 12-6 on the season.
Asked after the game how it felt to be back on the floor after being hurt, Lewis said, “It felt great.”
The Rebels began its tour of Grant County last night as they traveled to Williamstown. Saturday night, they will again head up Hwy. 22 when they take on the Grant County Braves.
Owen County has wins over both teams at home this season. The Rebels knocked off the Demons 46-42 back in December. They then picked up a 68-53 win against the Braves in January.
It seems 60 points might be a magic number for Owen County this season. The Rebels are a perfect 7-0 in games where they have scored at least 60 points.