Carroll County’s Lauren Moore (with ball) is trapped along the baseline by Owen County’s Courtney Waldrop during Thursday’s game in Carrollton. Owen pulled away late in the game for a 53-33 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Carroll County’s Lauren Moore (with ball) is trapped along the baseline by Owen County’s Courtney Waldrop during Thursday’s game in Carrollton. Owen pulled away late in the game for a 53-33 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Carroll County coach Paul Stone said he doesn't believe in moral victories, but after his young Panthers battled against Owen County on Thursday, the first-year coach was all smiles.

Owen County pulled away in the second half for a 60-42 win in the first game of a boys-girls basketball doubleheader in Carrollton. But considering that Owen had hammered Carroll 62-20 earlier in the season, this loss was much easier to take.

"I think that tonight goes a long way toward showing that we have improved a lot this year," Stone said. "The first time we played Owen they beat us by 42 and honestly they could have beat us a lot worse. They called the dogs off. Tonight (coach Robert Osborne) tried to press, he tried to trap and we handled it. We handled all their pressure. That goes a long way."

Carroll County (6-16, 1-3 North Central Kentucky, 3-4 District 31) came into the game riding a three-game win streak and the Panthers very nearly took a lead into the second quarter against one of the better teams in the Eighth Region.

Fending off the Owen press, Carroll County traded baskets with the Rebels and took the lead at 11-10 on a Kayla Williamson bucket with 1:32 left in the quarter. Only Shelby Gambrell's bucket at the buzzer kept Carroll from winning the first quarter.

Owen County (16-6, 3-2 NCKC, 5-1 District) took control of the game in the second quarter with an 18-4 run that started with Gambrell's bucket at the end of the first. By the time the dust settled, the Rebels led 30-18 by halftime.

Despite the run, Stone was still pleased with his team's play. While Owen opened the third quarter with six-straight points, Carroll did not go away and stayed right on the Rebels' heels until the closing minutes.

A Miranda Groseclose free throw cut the lead to 13 (43-30) with four minutes to go in the game and the Panthers still had a chance to make it a contest. However, Owen closed the game on a 10-3 run to end any hopes of an upset.

The Panthers shot just 27 percent (12-for-44) for the game with many of the misses coming at point-blank range. It was those misses that concerned Stone.

"We just missed so many layups. We missed 10 layups in this game," Stone said. "We're down 12 at the half but if we hit some of those shots maybe we're down five and then you've got Owen talking to themselves. That's something we have to work on."

Groseclose finished the game with 11 points and five rebounds while Owen's Courtney Waldrop led all scorers with 16 points. Madison Reed added 10 for the Rebels.

Hannah Neeley, Owen's leading scorer on the season, finished with just nine points while facing a diamond-and-one chaser from the Panthers.

"Makena Kindoll did a great job on Neeley. She hit only one 3-pointer while Makena was guarding her and she had seven on us the last time," Stone said. "It was a team effort by the defense but Makena did a great job."

Owen was an even 50 percent (23-for-46) from the floor and out-rebounded the Panthers 34-29. The Rebels also only had eight turnovers.

Carroll County visits Grant County tonight as part of a boys-girls varsity doubleheader.

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THURSDAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Carrollton, Ky.

OWEN CO. 53, CARROLL CO. 33



OWEN CO. 12 18 10 13 - 53

CARROLL CO. 11 7 7 8 - 33



OWEN CO. (16-6, 3-2 NCKC, 5-1 Dist.) - (f)Waldrop 16, (g)Reed 10, (g)Neeley 9, (g)Ma. Gamble 6, (f)Spaulding 5, Gambrell 4, Dermon 3, Marcum, Mo. Gamble 0, Ellis 0.

CARROLL CO. (6-16, 1-3 NCKC, 3-4 Dist.) - (f)Groseclose 11, (f)Kindoll 8, (g)Williamson 5, (c)Moore 4, McIntyre 3, (g)Amick 2, Arvin 0.



3-Point Goals - Owen Co. 2 (Neeley 1, Spaulding 1), Carroll Co. 5 (Kindoll 2, Williamson 1, Groseclose 1, McIntyre 1). Rebounds - Owen Co. 32, Carroll Co. 25 (Moore 6). Turnovers - Owen Co. 8, Carroll Co. 15. Total Fouls - Owen Co. 12, Carroll Co. 15. Free Throws - Owen Co. 5-11, Carroll Co. 4-11. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Owen Co. hosts Oldham Co. today. Carroll Co. visits Grant Co. today.