Owsley County played Estill County in the first round of the 56th district tournament in Booneville Tuesday and came up a little short of victory, falling to the Engineers by a score of 50-38.
Estill led at the half by 23-15 but the Owls slowly edged into the deficit to cut the lead to 4 points going into the 4th quarter, trailing 30-26. However, Estill was able to convert their free throws in the last quarter to extend the lead, and outscored the Owls 20-12 to finally put the game away and win.
Austin Evans led Owsley in scoring and did a fabulous job guarding Estill’s leading scorer, Joe Benton, holding him to 14 points, mostly from the free throw line late in the game when Owsley was forced to foul.
The great defensive effort along with his scoring was enough to land Evans on the All Tournament team, along with teammate Drew Noe. Noe scored 8 points in the game, John Gibson had 6, Shade Neace 6, Trent Sebastian 3, and Brandon Lynch 2. Sebastian, the Owls’ leading rebounder and seconding leading scorer this season, was limited to only 14 minutes of play due to early foul trouble. That was a big factor as
Owsley lost the rebounding battle 37-25. Estill’s center, Dylan Long, took full advantage of the inside game as he powered his way to 17 points and 13 rebounds. He was aided in scoring by Benton with 14, Ethan Webb with 10, Will Isfort 6, and Micah Adam’s 3.
Owsley County finished the season with an 11-17 record and Estill County is now 10-20. The Engineers advance to next week’s regional tournament at Powell County where they will take on Knott County Central, Monday, February 25 at 6:00 pm.