Tip-off time arrives

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Boys’ squad looking for the right mix

By Brian Blair

Stats are important in sports but they often don’t tell the entire story.

It is true that the 2009-2010 Owen County High School Rebels will have to find out how to replace 52 percent of the team’s scoring lost on graduation day ,but they will also be looking for two more ingredients that can’t be found on the stat sheet. They are experience and leadership.

Some of the experience can be found in the paint. Jordan Shelton, Michael Colligan and Sawyer Williams each return giving Owen County one of the most formidable frontcourts in both the district and region.

Shelton and Colligan were third and fourth on the team last year in total minutes played. As a sophomore, Shelton finished the season by averaging just under 10 points a game and 10 rebounds. Colligan finished the season by averaging 8.5 points a game while pulling down 5.5 rebounds.

Owen County High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Devin Duvall hopes to find some leadership under the basket as well.

“Jordan feels like it is his team,”  Duvall said.

Williams has returned to practice after another year of playing football. The sophomore is working his way back into basketball shape.

One thing is certain – Williams is bigger than he was last year as he has grown in stature but also from his work in the weight room. Williams averaged 3 points and three boards last year.

Duvall will also be looking for some leadership in the backcourt. Whoever ends up running the point will have limited experience at the position. Senior Kyle Kelly is the leading candidate to replace Drew Marston from a season ago.

Blake Lewis and Stone Osborne are back for another season. Lewis averaged 3 points a game last year and Osborne averaged 2.

Duvall is hoping both players will be able to hit some shots from the perimeter in order to open the paint for his big people to get things done.

Duvall expects to a see a lot of zone defense early on this season to see how the perimeter game develops.

Two other areas the Rebels will be looking to improve from last year will be free-throw shooting and turnovers.

Owen County shot just 62 percent from the charity stripe last year and turned the ball over an average of 13 times a game. Improving both statistics will go a long way to determine how the Rebels’ season progresses.

Owen County will enter the season looking to defend its 31st District championship from last year. It will not be easy. The other three teams in the district – Henry County, Carroll County and Gallatin County – will once again put solid teams on the floor.

The season will get under way Tuesday night as the Rebels travel to Frankfort to take on Western Hills. It is sure to be an emotional night for the Wolverines for it will be the team’s first regular-season game following the death of a player during a practice in October.

Owen County will get into district play in December when they travel to Carroll County Dec. 10  before returning home to host Gallatin County Dec. 15 and Henry County Dec, 18. After Christmas, the team will travel to Orlando, Fla., to play in KSA Events Basketball Holiday Classic.

The Rebels will then play a pair of tough games in January against Anderson County and North Oldham before playing in the All “A” Classic at Walton-Verona Jan. 18. The Rebels will take on Gallatin County in the opening round.

The team will also have tough games late in the season against Grant County, South Oldham, Oldham County and Walton-Verona. Senior Night will be Feb. 18 against Trimble County.