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Panthers struggle against more physical Rebels Friday

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By Dave Taylor

Owen County’s Rebels ran roughshod over the Carroll County Panthers Friday in a physical high school basketball contest at Carrollton. The Rebels raced out to a 16-2 advantage with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 61-32 romp.

“If we’re going to get to a level where we can really compete it gets physical,” head coach Carroll Yager said. “Even if you’re small, and I’ll use Gallatin County as an example, they’re small but they’re really physical. They’re pushing and shoving and slapping. We’re still trying to get an understanding of how that’s supposed to be like. That’s something I’m trying to get our guys to understand.”

Owen owned a 20-point lead at halftime, fronting 31-11, and increased that advantage through the remainder of the contest.

“They have size and good overall physical strength,” Yager said. “They’re a pretty solid team. They really don’t have a weakness. They’ve got good shooters—outside and inside. The question is, are they that much better than we are?”

Yager said the Rebels’ fast-paced style of play “that made us do things faster than we normally do them. They were able to get 27 offensive rebounds. That’s an incredible number right there. They killed us on the boards.”

“We only had 19 total rebounds,” assistant coach Duke Boles said. “We just didn’t go after the ball.”   

Owen committed 10 turnovers to Carroll’s 22.
Offensively, the Panthers failed to put a single player in double figures in the score book. Senior Ethan Stewart led the effort with eight points, while sophomore center Dallas Gibson added seven. Owen’s Sawyer Williams led all scorers with 19 points while Zach Ripy added 12 points including three field goals from beyond the three-point arc.

All 14 Panthers that suited up for the game saw action. Yager was asked whether experience gotten against a quick, physical team like Owen County can be a valuable learning tool for the younger players.

“I think anytime you get time on the floor it’s good, anytime you get some experience,” he said. “We probably had next year’s team on the floor some tonight in some of those combinations. That’s got to be a good thing for them.”