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Basketball Preview – Owsley County Owls

Photo by: Tonya Oliver - Down Abby Road

November 21, 2023 – Deron Mays

When the Owsley County basketball team takes the floor against Knox Central in Barbourville on November 27 Coach Neil Terry, starting his third season as coach of the Owls, will be missing about 65% of his scoring from last season. Gone are three starters and some key reserves to graduation or transfer. However, a starter for the Owls two years ago, senior Jacob McCoy, is back with the maroon and white to lead the team at guard. McCoy (18.7 ppg/7.5 rpg) has the experience from being a starter at Owsley earlier in his career and later at Buckhorn last year. He will join senior Wes Cope (12 ppg /4 rpg) and sophomore Chase Pryse (3.7 ppg/ 3.6 rpg) as returning starters. Sophomore guard Dylan Gay (4.2 ppg), a reserve last year, will move into a starting role this season.

Coach Terry also has junior Erick Craft, sophomore Keegan Herald and junior Landon Moore who will see ample playing time. Rounding out the roster are eighth grader Preston Strong and two seventh graders, Eelan Bobrowski-Hall and Kelton Smith.

Coach Terry is optimistic about the upcoming season but does have some concerns.

“I have basically seven players that I can utilize and some of them have had very little varsity experience. But they have worked extremely hard in practice and picked up on the style of basketball I want them to play.”

Coach Terry also admits his team is basically all guard size.

“We are not a tall  team (two players are 6’2, the rest are 6’ or under) so we have really emphasized blocking out and rebounding in practice”, stated Terry.”

 Terry said it is important that his team controls the tempo in games and to do that they have to limit their turnovers.

“We have to protect every possession and make sure we get quality shot attempts. That means we have to handle pressure defenses to get in our half court sets and rebound.”

The Owls will have the usual round robin seeded games with district foes Estill County, Powell County and Lee County on the schedule this season. They also have Knox Central, Hazard, Jackson County, Whitley County, and Leslie County. The complete roster and schedule can be found on the KHSAA website and schedules are available at all games at the gate entrance.

Coach Terry feels winning the district is a goal, just like it is every year. He feels by the end of the season his team will have a reasonable chance of the championship.

“We will have good guard play and when you have that you have leadership and that’s invaluable. Jake is an experienced guard and he will make everyone around him better.”

The action starts November 27 at Knox Central. The first home game is December 5 against Ligon COGO. Season passes for all Owls and Lady Owls home games can be purchased at the school or at the gate for $50. Individual tickets are $5. Students get free admission into all games.

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