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The 2008-2009 basketball season was full of ups and downs for the Owen County Rebels.
A season that began with high expectations got off to a rocky start.
Following an opening night loss the Rebels won their next two games. The win Dec. 9, 2008, over Trimble County would be the Rebels’ last win against a North American team until after New Year’s Day. Owen County defeated the Australian National Team Dec. 30, 2008, at the Coca-Cola/Campbellsville University Classic.
The Rebels then won their first four games of 2009 before welcoming Anderson County. The Rebels led at halftime before the Bearcats took control in the second half to get the win. The Rebels then went on the road and lost a tough game to North Oldham.
Owen County entered the All “A” Classic at Carroll County, hoping to do what they did in 2003 when they won the championship on the Panthers’ court to advance to Richmond.
That season, the Rebels held their breath as Gallatin County had a shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime.
The team that stood in the way was Henry County.
The Wildcats had defeated Owen County earlier in the season in New Castle on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
To say that history repeats itself would be accurate as Owen County seemed poised to cut down the nets as Drew Marston hit a free-throw line jumper with 3.1 seconds left to give the Rebels a 35-33 lead.
The scissors were then suddenly and shockingly ripped from their hands as Henry County’s Connor Jeffries sank a shot from just inside half court to propel the Wildcats to victory.
The close games continued as the Rebels’ last seven games were decided by seven points or less.
Owen County entered the 31st District tournament at Carroll County having won just three of their final seven games and having to face their nemesis, Gallatin County.
The Rebels played one of their best games of the year as they advanced to the championship game with a 53-44 win over the Wildcats.
The victory, coupled by a Henry County win over Carroll County, gave Owen County a chance to avenge the All “A” loss on the same court where it took place.
The game was another nail-biter but this time the outcome was different.
On that February night, it would be Henry County who would have to watch as Owen County joyfully cut down the nets.
The win gave Owen County its first district championship since 1987 and it also marked the first time in school history that both the boys’ and girls’ teams had won the 31st District titles in the same season. The win sent the Rebels into the eighth-region tournament with momentum.
Owen County opened up play in the region tournament at Henry County by taking on Grant County.
The Rebels squandered a late lead to see Grant County hit a shot at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime
The Braves had a chance to win the game in the extra session but this time the final shot missed and Owen County advanced to a semifinal match-up with Anderson County.
It was the first time Owen County had advanced past the first round since 1996.
Just like their meeting in the regular season, the Rebels played well in the first half only to see things slip away in the second half.
The Bearcats ended the Rebels’ season with 45-28 win.
The Rebels finished the season with a 15-15 record.