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It was a week of streaks for the Owen County High School Boys Basketball team. Two streaks to be exact, and both involve the number two.
On Jan. 4, the Rebels defeated Gallatin County for the second time this season. The 54-50 victory marked the first time since 2005 Owen County has won two straight over their rivals from Warsaw.
“It’s the first time in a long time,” said Justin Shelton of the two-game winning streak.
The Rebels used stingy first-half defense to build a lead throughout the first half. After scoring the first four points of the game, Owen County held Gallatin County to just 13 points the rest of the half to take a 28-17 lead into the break.
The Wildcats outscored the Rebels in the third quarter to cut the home team’s lead to 38-31. The Wildcats picked up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and kept things close.
There were two differences over the final eight minutes that propelled Owen County to the win. The first was Shelton. Every time the Wildcats seemed to have momentum, Shelton came up with a big basket to swing the momentum back to the Rebels. The sophomore scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter. The other factor was Gallatin County’s inability to convert from the free throw line. The Wildcats made just 4 of 18 for the game.
Jarrod Ball led Owen County in scoring with 13 points. He also added three assists and two steals. Sawyer Williams finished the game with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Zach Ripy added nine points while Stone Osborne tossed in six points and pulled down seven rebounds. Collin Trammell had three points and Carson Williams two.
While the win on Tuesday gave Owen County a two-game winning streak over Gallatin County, the team was looking to avoid a two-game losing streak to Henry County as the two met Friday night.
The night began with a double-overtime thriller in the boys’ junior varsity game that saw Owen County come away victorious. That game was followed by an easy win by the Lady Rebels over the Lady Wildcats. With the clock creeping towards 9, the game was delayed 10 minutes following warm-ups due to problems with the game clock. Things were sorted out and the game finally tipped off.
Henry County won the first game between the two schools, 56-42, and midway through the second quarter it appeared they might do the same thing. The Wildcats led 20-13 after Ben Schroeder knocked down a three. It was, however, be the last basket the Wildcats made until late in the third quarter.
Owen County scored the final seven points of the first half to tie the game at 20-20, and then they put in the first four points of the second half to take a 24-20 lead. The lead grew to 26-21 before Henry County made a shot with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
The Rebels held a three-point lead going into the final eight minutes, but it appeared early in the fourth quarter that they might be the ones to run away with the contest. Osborne and Ball made back-to-back threes to stretch the lead to 36-25 with 6:10 to play. Henry County called timeout and whatever Wildcat head coach Derek Springate said, it worked.
Following the time out, Henry County ran off seven straight points to cut the Owen County lead to 36-32. A pair of Sawyer Williams free throws pushed the lead back to six at 38-32. It was the last time the Rebels enjoyed a lead of that margin.
Henry County continued to chip away. The lead was 40-38 with 22 seconds remaining and the Wildcats found themselves with the ball. A foul sent Spud Baldwin to the free throw line with a chance to tie the score.
Baldwin made both to knot things up at 40-40. Owen County had the final possession of regulation, but they were unable to get a shot off sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Henry County took a 42-41 lead on a basket by Baldwin. It was be the first time the Wildcats had led since the score was 20-19, just before halftime.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 47-41 but were unable to put the game away from the charity stripe, allowing Owen County to hang around. A Ripy three pointer cut the lead to 47-44 and two more missed free throws gave Owen County one last chance to force another overtime. Ripy was fouled with 4.5-seconds to play. He made the first, and then purposely missed the second. Owen County got the rebound and Shelton had a final shot to extend the game, but it was not to be.
Ripy and Osborne finished the night with 13 points while Sawyer Williams added nine. Ball tossed in five points. Trammel and Carson Williams each had two points and Shelton finished with one point.
With the loss the Rebels record falls to 9-4. They have two more home games this week before hosting the 8th Region All “A” Classic next week.