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The Owen County High School Rebels began Monday night’s All ‘A’ championship game with a 3-point basket.
The game would end with the team needing one more.
Carroll County High School used a stingy zone defense and a patient offense to grind out a 42-39 win over Owen County to deny the Rebels a third straight Eighth Region All ‘A’ title.
The Panthers will advance to Frankfort Thursday night to take on Cordia High School of Hazard in the first round of the Touchstone Energy All ‘A’ Classic.
It is the first time the Panthers captured the regional title since 2005.
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game, the Rebels struggled to get in the flow offensively.
Carroll County was able to keep Owen County from getting the ball in the paint and the Rebels weren’t able to knock down enough perimeter shots to open up the middle of the floor.
While the Panthers’ defense was doing its job, Carroll County seemed to get its footing offensively midway through the second quarter. The Panthers surged to a 24-16 lead at halftime.
Owen County opened up the third quarter by outscoring Carroll County 6-2 in the first two minutes and cut the deficit to 26-22.
The Rebels would tie the game at 29-29 when Jarrod Ball found Carson Williams under the basket for a score with 2:39 left in the third.
The Panthers would then score the last four points of the quarter to take a 33-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers would lead 35-31 early in the final quarter before the Rebels scored four straight points to again the tie the game at 35-35 with just over four minutes left in the game. With 2:38 left in the game Carroll County’s Austin Crowell buried a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 38-35 lead.
The Rebels were unable to answer Carroll County’s basket with one of their own and the Panthers got the ball back with 1:18 left clinging to the slim lead.
Owen County twice would cut the lead to one in the final minute.
Both times Isaiah Hogan would make a pair of free throws to extend the Panthers’ lead back to three.
After Hogan’s second trip to the free-throw line gave Carroll County a 42-39 lead, the Rebels had 7.2 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.
On their final possession, the Rebels would not be able to get off a shot as the final buzzer ended their chances of a three-peat.
Williams led the Rebels with 14 points while Hunter Trenary finished with 11 points; Tackett added 7 points; Ball, 4 points; and Chad McDonald, 3 points.
The Rebels reached the championship game by knocking off Eminence 72-61 last Wednesday and then Williamstown 63-51 on Sunday.
Carroll County earned its trip to the championship game by defeating Gallatin County in the quarterfinals and Trimble County in the semifinals.
In Sunday’s game against the Raiders, the Panthers rallied from a 7-point deficit in the final minute to win the game.
For their efforts, Hunter Trenary, Williams and Ball were each named to the All-Tournament Team.
Owen County is scheduled to play Carroll County on Friday night in Owenton. Whether that game is played will depend on how the Panthers fair on Thursday night in Frankfort.
The Rebels will then host Simon Kenton High School Tuesday.
The last two times these two teams have gotten together the games have been tight. The Rebels defeated the Pioneers 61-59 in the quarterfinals of the Eighth Region Tournament in 2010.
Simon Kenton defeated Owen County 58-56 last year in Independence.