Rebels looking to improve after opening loss

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By Charlie VanLeuven

The Casey County High School Rebels opened their season with a frustrating home loss to the Clinton County Bulldogs Nov. 27, by a score of 75-58.

The young team returns just one starter from its district championship team a year ago, senor Ryan Luna, and Coach Jason Price said that turnovers and small things made all the difference in the loss.

“It’s a lack of execution, not a lack of effort,” he said. “They played their butts off out there.”

Some of the players also played for Rebel football, which ended its season just three weeks ago. Getting all the players up to speed will be a challenge.

At times during the loss, the team looked as though it was about to make a run to tie the game, but then there were turnovers, and fouls. There was also Jackson Harlan, a Bulldog player who scored 37 points.

Price said that Colby Brown, Dustin Richards, Chance McQueary and Michael Christian are acting as team leaders, showing up to practice every day and getting the team ready to play. He said that the best thing about the team was their willingness to learn.

“It’s a great team to coach because they let me coach them,” he said. “I knew that early on this year we’d have some struggles.”

The team will focus on rebounds and small things like not turning the ball over. Price said that the team’s post game needed work as well.

He pointed to a statistic: 17 offensive rebounds, and 23 turnovers.

“We actually shot a higher percentage than the other team,” he said. “They just had more opportunities to shoot.”

The road ahead won’t be easy for the Rebels. As Price said, they won’t “miss anyone” in their schedule. Seven of their opponents will be top-25 teams.

In particular, Price pointed to the games versus Somerset and Pulaski as veteran-led teams that will present a big challenge to the inexperienced Casey squad.

“Our district’s tough this year,” he said.

The boys play their second game at North Laurel Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Nissan Classic.