Time for Tip-Off

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Coach hopes height and speed will take Rebels to the top

By Brian Blair

At first glance, two things will jump out at fans when they watch the Rebels on the basketball court. The first thing they will say is “My, these guys are quick,” followed by “and they are big.”

The 2008-09 version of Coach Devin Duvall’s Rebels will first attempt to run opponents into the ground.

“I want to push the basketball,” Duvall said,

If pushing the ball up and down the floor does not work, the Rebels will then look to pound the opposition into submission by throwing the ball into the paint.

“This is the most height in the history of the school,” Duvall said.

The coach is referring to 6-foot-7-inch sophomore Jordan Shelton, 6-foot-4-inch junior Michael Colligan and 6-foot-4-inch freshman Sawyer Williams.

The coach and the team will get to see which style works best when they open up the season Tuesday at home against Western Hills.

After playing 18 games this summer and a month of practice, Duvall said his team is “ready to break someone else down.”

In addition to the big men, Duvall will be relying on a solid group of guards to break down opponents.

All-Region selection Collin Gamble is returning for his senior season.

Gamble averaged 18 points a game last season.

Joining him in the back-court will be senior point-guard Drew Marston.

The Rebels are coming off a season where they won 18 games and advanced to the 8th Region Tournament for the first time in 12 years.

The season ended with a loss to Shelby County who went on to win the region and advance to the final four of the Sweet Sixteen in Lexington.

Despite the loss, Duvall said the game was a confidence builder heading into this season.

Like the girls, the boys are also excited about being back in the All “A” Classic.

The tournament will be played at Carroll County High School.

History may be on Owen County’s side when the tournament starts.

In 2003, the last time the tournament was held at Carroll County, the Rebels came away victorious and advanced to the State All “A” Classic in Richmond.

Owen County will play in a couple of holiday events. The first will be a game against Letcher County Central in the Kentucky Bank Shootout at Bourbon County.

After Christmas, the team will travel to Campbellsville to take part in the Campbellsville/Coca Cola Holiday Classic.

The remainder of the schedule will feature some tough competition.

Apart from playing teams in their district and the NCKC, the Rebels will also play Lloyd Memorial and South Oldham.

The week before the All “A” begins, the Rebels will face one of their tougher weeks of action when they battle Anderson County, Grant County and North Oldham.

Duvall hopes the schedule will prepare his team for tournament time and a shot at district and regional championships.