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All “A” Classic: Owen County ends Walton-Verona’s four-year reign as 8th Region girls champion

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

The Walton-Verona girls basketball team’s four-year reign as 8th Region All “A” Classic champion came to an end Sunday when Owen County defeated the Bearcats, 44-37, in the title game at Eminence High School.

It would’ve been the lowest scoring game of the season for the Bearcats, but one of their players hit a long 3-point shot as time expired to surpass the 36-point total they had in a loss last month.

Jenna Rodgers of Walton-Verona battles an Owen County player for possession of the ball. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Both teams struggled on offense for most of the game and Owen County had a slim 22-19 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Walton-Verona went ahead, 24-22, on a 3-point basket by junior Jenna Rodgers, but the Rebels scored eight straight points to go back on top, 30-24.

Another three by Rodgers and a layup off a steal by junior Grace Brewer made it a one-point game, 30-29, with less than three minutes remaining.

Owen County responded with a 9-1 run that put the Rebels ahead, 39-30, and they converted five of six free throws in the final seconds to clinch the win.

Owen County snapped an 11-game losing streak against Walton-Verona. The last time the Rebels defeated the Bearcats was in January of 2013.

Brewer scored a game-high 15 points and Rodgers had 10. Those two players made 9 of 13 field goal attempts while the rest of the team went 5-for-22. The Bearcats ended up shooting 40 percent (14 of 35) from the field.

Owen County guard Destiny Goodrich sizes up Walton-Verona teammates Jenna Rodgers and Maggie Buerger in a zone defense. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Owen County’s leading scorer was sophomore Haley Logan, who got eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. The Rebels shot 34 percent (12 of 35) from the field, but they had a 19-4 scoring advantage at the free throw line.

Owen County’s 30-18 rebounding advantage was also a factor in the game’s outcome. The Bearcats had just five rebounds on the offensive glass.

Walton-Verona senior center Maggie Buerger scored her team’s first five points in the game before getting into foul trouble. She had seven points and six rebounds when she fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Owen County advances to the All “A” Classic state tournament for the first time since 2004. The Rebels will play the 1st Region winner in the first game on Jan. 26 at Eastern Kentucky University.

Brossart is one of the final four teams in the girls 10th Region All “A” Classic. The Mustangs will play tournament host Bracken County in a semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Holy Cross won the 9th Region championship on Saturday.

OWEN COUNTY         9  2  11  22 — 44
WALTON-VERONA     8  6   6  18 — 37

OWEN COUNTY (9-5): Lewis 0 2 2, Logan 5 3 13, Moore 2 5 9, Ferguson 2 6 10, Goodrich 3 3 10. Totals: 12 19 44.
WALTON-VERONA (9-8): Rodgers 3 2 10, Brewer 6 2 15, Carrico 1 0 2, Lay 1 0 3, Buerger 3 0 7. Totals: 14 4 37.
3-point goals: OC — Goodrich. WV — Rodgers 2, Brewer, Lay, Buerger.

All “A” Classic girls region tournament

Robertson County vs. Paris, 7:30 p.m.
Brossart vs. Bracken County, 7:30 p.m.
Championship game, 7:30 p.m.


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