QUICK EXIT: Carroll County’s Trey Boles (above) walks away dejected following the Panthers’ 42-36 loss in the 31st District Tournament semifinals Wednesday in Carrollton. Brandon Stewart (below) looks for an open man to pass to. (Staff photos by David Hill)
QUICK EXIT: Carroll County’s Trey Boles (above) walks away dejected following the Panthers’ 42-36 loss in the 31st District Tournament semifinals Wednesday in Carrollton. Brandon Stewart (below) looks for an open man to pass to. (Staff photos by David Hill)
Carroll County never completely recovered from a dismal offensive start and ended up falling 42-36 to Owen County in the 31st District Tournament semifinals in Carrollton on Wednesday.

The Panthers trailed 9-2 at the end of the first quarter and 17-9 at halftime during its rough start. Once Carroll finally got rolling, fouls were then the Panthers' undoing as Owen County connected on 15-of-18 free throws in the second half and 17-of-20-for the game.

"I thought we were a little too tentative on offense in the first half," Carroll County coach Carroll Yager said. "We were very fortunate to be down by just eight at halftime."

A pair of baskets by Carson Williams and a 3-pointer from Jarrod Ball gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead at the four-minute mark of the first quarter. The Panthers' lone basket in the quarter was by Trey Boles as Carroll trailed 9-2 at the break.

The Rebels opened the second period with a steal and the first of two straight Justin Shelton baskets. Owen eventually led 15-2 on a basket by Williams with just over five minutes remaining before five points from Boles, including a 3-pointer, brought Carroll to within eight (17-9) at the close of the first half.

Carroll County put up its best fight of the game during the third period, where the Panthers whittled the Rebels' lead to one.

Two consecutive 3-pointers by Brandon Stewart brought the Panthers to within four at 19-15 early and a Boles basket with 4:00 cut the deficit to two at 20-18.

Later, John Michael Adams brought the Panthers again to within two points with a basket in the paint with 1:30 remaining but that was as close as Carroll would get.

Two quick fouls on Boles in the latter stages of the third period sent the Panthers' top scorer to the bench and two free throws by Shelton gave the Rebels a 25-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Owen County pulled down the first of several fourth quarter offensive rebounds to open the fourth quarter and Shelton scored and was fouled for a three-point play to give the Rebels a 28-22 advantage.

Following a 3-pointer by Boles, Owen's Williams took advantage of an offensive board and foul to sink a pair of free throws for a 32-25 lead with 3:34 to play.

Adams brought Carroll to within five with a 3-point play with 3:10 remaining and Stewart knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game with less than a minute remaining to pull the Panthers to within 40-36, but a pair of free throws by Zack Ripy sealed the win and the Panthers' fate.

One of Carroll's defensive objectives was to limit Ripy's looks at the basket. The Panthers succeeded by holding the Rebel sharpshooter to 10 points. However, Williams (13) and Shelton (11) combined for 24 points to take up the slack.

Boles was the game's leading scorer with 15 points while Stewart added 11 for Carroll.

"I'm proud of our effort," Yager said. "I thought we competed well. I thought our defense was solid and it kept us in the game. Our offense sputtered at times, but our defense kept going. Owen County has a good team and a really good defense."

The Rebels will continue their tourney trek Friday when they will meet Eminence, a 52-51 winner over Gallatin County in Wednesday's first semifinal, in the district championship in Carrollton. Both Owen and Eminence have earned berths to the Eighth Region Tournament.

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BOYS 31st DISTRICT TOURNAMENT

Semifinals

at Carrollton, Ky.

OWEN CO. 42, CARROLL CO. 36



OWEN CO. 9 8 8 17 - 42

CARROLL CO. 2 7 13 14 - 36



OWEN CO. (19-9) - (f)Williams 13, (f)Shelton 11, (g)Ripy 10, (g)Ball 5, T. Trenary 2, (g)H. Trenary 1, Stone 0.

CARROLL CO. (16-12) - (f)Boles 15, (g)Stewart 11, (f)Adams 5, Damron 3, (c)Corbin 2, (g)Wise 0, Hogan 0, Booth 0.



3-Point Goals - Owen Co 1 (Ball 1), Carroll Co. 6 (Stewart 3, Boles 2, Damron 1). Total Fouls - Owen Co. 12, Carroll Co. 13. Fouled Out - None. Free Throws - Owen Co. 17-20 (85%), Carroll Co. 4-8 (50%). Rebounds - Owen Co. 30 (Shelton 8, Williams 8), Carroll Co. 18 (Boles 8). Assists - Owen Co. 3 (Williams 2), Carroll Co. 7 (Stewart 4). Steals - Owen Co. 1 (Ripy 1), Carroll Co. 5 (Damron 2). Turnovers - Owen Co. 11, Carroll Co. 10. Next Game - Owen Co. meets Eminence in Friday's championship game at Carroll Co.. Carroll Co.'s ends season.