SQUEEZED: Carroll County’s Lauren Moore fights through a double team Owen County’s Shelby Gambrell (left) and Courtney Waldrop on a drive to the basket during Friday’s 31st District semifinals at Carrollton. Moore led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points, but the Rebels ran away with the 56-30 win. (Staff photo by David Hill)
SQUEEZED: Carroll County’s Lauren Moore fights through a double team Owen County’s Shelby Gambrell (left) and Courtney Waldrop on a drive to the basket during Friday’s 31st District semifinals at Carrollton. Moore led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points, but the Rebels ran away with the 56-30 win. (Staff photo by David Hill)
Owen County broke open a close game against host Carroll County in the final minutes of the third quarter to advance to tonight's 31st District championship.

Leading 28-17 with 3:31 remaining in the third period, Owen County outscored Carroll County 28-13 the rest of the way for a 56-30 win.

The Panthers finish their season at 7-20 while the 18-9 Rebels now prepare to face Gallatin County (26-5) in tonight's final.

"We had cut the deficit to nine in the third quarter and had the ball two straight times but couldn't score," Carroll County coach Paul Stone said. "This was the first game in a long time where we didn't hit a 3-pointer and that hurt our chances. Had we hit some threes at certain parts of the game, things could have been different.

"We had some good looks from three-point range," Stone said. "They just weren't falling."

Carroll County held a slim lead in the early stages until a basket by Owen County's Madison Gamble broke a 6-6 tie. Even though the Panthers would cut their deficit to one twice more, the Rebels kept the lead for the remainder of the night.

Miranda Groseclose pulled the Panthers to within one on a free throw with 1:57 left in the opening period and that's what the score was at the break.

The Rebels put a dent in Carroll's hopes of an upset in the second period, outscoring the Panthers, 15-5 to take a 23-12 halftime lead. Guard Kennedi Dermon, who led all scorers with 17 points, knocked down a 3-pointer on her way to nine points.

Defensive pressure by the Rebels began to take its toll on the younger Panthers, as they turned over several possessions to errant passes or steals. "We struggled on offense, especially in the second and third quarters," Stone said. "I think we got tired and started standing around."

Owen County built a 13-point lead by the three-minute mark of the third quarter. Doodle Amick brought Carroll to within nine (28-17) with a basket underneath, but the Rebels took off the rest of the quarter.

Madison Gamble knocked down a two-pointer and a pair of treys in the closing moments to turn an 11-point lead into 42-21 advantage by quarter's end. "They hit two or three in a row after we had cut it to nine and it was over," Stone said.

Both teams were switching players in and out of the lineup during the fourth quarter, where the Rebels outscored the Panthers 14-9.

Lauren Moore, who was Carroll's leading scorer with 12 points, scored five in the fourth quarter. Groseclose and Makena Kindoll were next in scoring for the Panthers with seven each.

Gamble was the Rebels' second-leading scorer with 15 points and Courtney Waldrop finished with eight.

"I thought our girls played a hard ballgame tonight," Stone said. "We got some compliments from the officials afterwards on our improvement.

"We've improved quite a bit," he continued. "But we need to continue to work our offense, ball-handling and shooting in the off-season. I've seen some bonding among the players lately, and that's good to see.

"I've enjoyed coaching this team in my first year here," Stone continued. "The kids are great and fun to coach."

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Girls 31st District Tournament

Semifinals

at Carrollton, Ky.

OWEN CO. 56, CARROLL CO. 30



CARROLL CO. 7 5 9 9 - 30

OWEN CO. 8 15 19 14 - 56



CARROLL CO. (7-20) - (f)Moore 12, (g)Kindoll 7, (f)Groseclose 7, (g)Williamson 2, (g)Amick 2, Arvin 0, McIntyre 0, Burgin 0.

OWEN CO. (18-9) - (g)Dermon 17, (f)Gamble 15, (c)Waldrop 8, (g)Neeley 5, (g)Reed 5, Gambrell 4, Spaulding 2, Marcum 0, Carfora 0, Clifton 0, Ellis 0.



3-Point Goals - Carroll Co. None, Owen Co. 3 (Gamble 2, Dermon 1). Free Throws - Carroll Co. 8-12 (67%), Owen Co. 13-23 (57%). Total Fouls - Carroll Co. 19, Owen Co. 11. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Carroll Co.'s season ends. Owen Co. plays Gallatin Co. in tonight's District championship game.