A tough loss on the road can cause for a long bus ride home, two hours away from Franklin County on Friday night, the Rebels and Rebelettes basketball teams experienced just that.
Increasing their losing streak to 13 games, the Rebelettes were embarrassed by the Columbia Lady Lions 62-25.
The Rebels were dealt a tough loss in a different way, letting one “slip away,” according to coach Jeff Taylor 66-58, in overtime.
Early on in the Rebelettes contest, the team seemed poised to put up a fight against the 22-3 Lady Lions.
In the game’s first quarter the Rebelettes held their own, matching the Lady Lions in points with nine. From there on it was all Lady Lions.
Columbia outscored the Rebelettes 17-3 in the second quarter to coast into halftime with a 26-12 lead.
With the beginning of the second half it was déjà vu for the Rebelettes, getting outscored 12-6 in the third quarter.
The Lady Lions seemed focused on sending a message to the rest of the District 8-AAA girls’ basketball teams.
Columbia continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Rebelettes 24-7. The final score was 62-25 with the Rebelettes experiencing possibly their most humiliating loss of the season.
Not one Rebelette scored in the double digits, with the team’s highest scorer being Laura Henley whom finished with eight points.
With the loss, the Rebelettes are now 5-22 on the season and just 2-10 in district play.
Under coach Tom Insell the Rebelettes have fared well in district tournament play to which they will be hoping for this season as the tournament begins Thursday night in Shelbyville.
The tournaments complete schedule is still being worked out.
Franklin County’s boys’ basketball team, the Rebels, came across their tough loss a little bit differently.
From the opening tip-off, the Rebels seemed poised for a big night, playing very well.
In the first quarter the Rebels combined lights out defensive play with an efficient offensive game to outscore the Columbia Lions 12-5.
Although not as dominant as the first, the Rebels held on to the lead following the second quarter in which the Lions got the upper hand 12-10.
Heading into halftime the Rebels were up 22-17.
Hovering around their five-point lead for most of the games remainder, the Rebels seemed poised to win.
After shooting just one free throw through three quarters, the Rebels found themselves at the stripe 17 times in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels made the most of the free opportunities at points, making 13 of their 17 attempts.
With 14.8 seconds left in the game, a few Columbia fans began to file out of the gymnasium, as the Rebels led 52-47 following two successful free throw shots by Rebel senior Tyler Schaub.
Things tightened up following a three point bucket by Columbia to make the score 52-50 with 2.6 remaining on the clock.
Without even chancing the Rebels in bounding the ball to free throw ace Schaub, the Lions immediately fouled sophomore Dru Morris.
Already in the double bonus, the foul sent Morris to the free throw line.
Morris’ first shot rolled around the rim before bouncing out, but he was successful on his second shot making the score 53-50, with still 2.6 on the game clock.
Columbia rolled in the ball into play setting up three screens to get Lion Kendall Gill open for a deep 35-foot three-point shot.
The shot that coach Taylor referred to as a, “miracle hail mary,” swished through the net at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime, and the entire Lion fan base and coaching staff onto the court.
Once referees restored order, the overtime period began.
In overtime junior Rebel Hunter Watson fouled out early in the quarter, and the Rebels struggled to find success on offense, resulting in the team’s 66-58 loss.
After the game coach Taylor stressed the importance of finishing games.
“We didn’t finish the game well, we gave them one.” Said coach Taylor.
Schaub finished with a game-high 20 points. Fellow senior teammate Montrez Vanzant finished with a respectful 16 points, and Matt Schmitz finished with nine points.
The Rebels not only lost the game, but also the chance to garner the number one seed in the District 8-AAA tournament.
Coach Taylor wasn’t too worried about the seating in the tournament, and said he told his players not to worry about it as well.
“These seeds don’t mean anything,” Taylor said in his post game comments. Taylor does have a point, last year his Rebels team entered as one of the bottom seeds before making a run the ended in the District Championship game.
Last year the Rebels also lost a game at Columbia in overtime, but extracted revenge by defeating the Lions a few weeks later in the district tournament.
Pick up a copy of Friday’s Herald Chronicle to see the District 8-AAA full tournament schedule