The Owsley County Lady Owls played in the 14th region tournament at Letcher Central this past week and won their opening quarterfinal game over Leslie County but lost in the semifinal game to Knott Central. The semifinal appearance was Owsley's first time to advanced that far in the tournament since 1988. The Lady Owls had also made it to the semifinals in 1980.
The first round game against Leslie was the third time the Lady Owls had played Leslie this season. They claimed a 4 point win in Hyden in December and a 5 point win in Booneville in late January. But an old saying in basketball circles is "it's hard to beat a team three times in a season." However, Owsley broke out of the gate with a 19-10 lead after the first quarter and held a 34-14 lead at halftime. They were rarely challenged after that point. Leslie did manage to close to within 14 points in the third quarter but Owsley ran it back out to a 22 point advantage in a matter of minutes. Owsley maintained the lead around 20 for most of the last quarter and the final score was Owsley 58 Leslie 38.
Owsley shot 48% for the game, which included nine 3-point makes. The Lady Owls Carly Smith hit four treys for the game and was 13/17 in shooting. She was 4/5 in 3-point tries. Smith scored 30 points. Lexy Lynch was 5/11 in shooting, was 4/7 on 3-point shots, and scored 17 points. Mic Johnson scored 8 points on 3/6 shooting and did a magnificent job guarding Leslie's Lexy Meyers. Meyer's was averaging 29 ppg and Mic held her to 11 points. Kenzie Herald didn't have a big scoring night with just 1 point but she was a little floor general at the point guard position and was solid on defense. Ameila Murray scored 2 points and had 5 rebounds and several blocked shots. Kerissa Shouse gave some valuable minutes off the bench and had 3 rebounds.
Owsley outscored Leslie 23-4 in transition points and had 17 assists to Leslie's 3. One area that Leslie did win, though, was rebounding, where they held a 53-35 advantage over the Lady Owls.
Top scorer for the Lady Eagles was Lexy Meyers with 11 points.
The semifinal opponent was Knott County Central, a team that Owsley had played in December in Hindman and lost by 8 points and played in January in Booneville and won by 4. So this was the tiebreaker game and the most important one.
The game was tight in the first quarter and Knott held a 15-14 lead as the second period began. Knott extended their lead to 26-23 at the half. But the third quarter was not kind to the Lady Owls as Knott managed to get through the press and to the rim for several layups that pushed their lead out to 36-29 as the third period ended. Owsley's press had worked magic in Booneville back in early February when they came from behind to outscore the Lady Patriots 25-8 in the last quarter but this time around Knott protected the ball a lot better and was able to extend the lead and finally won the game with a score of 58-44.
Both Teams shot the ball well, with Owsley at 40% and Knott at 45%. Knott was able to convert Owsley turnovers into 13 points while Owsley scored 5 points off Knott turnovers. Knott won the rebound battle by 30-20. Owsley was a perfect 13/13 on free throws while Knott was 11/20 from the line.
Kenzie Herald led Owsley with 16 points, followed by Lexy Lynch with 12, Carly Smith with 9, Mic Johnson with 5 and Kerissa Shouse with 2.
Presley Fletcher led Knott with 20 points and Kerea Mullins added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Lady Owls finished the season with a 23-9 record, a 56th district championship and a semifinal appearance in the regional tournament. They will return all starters next season. Congratulations to them on a very successful season!