FRANKFORT — Owen County always seems to put on a good show on opening night of the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic.
The Rebels did it again Thursday as they played boffo basketball in a 64-50 victory over Augusta in the Frankfort Convention Center.
Owen County shot 62 percent, racked up 16 assists, dominated the boards, and got solid games from Carson Williams, Vince Toftness and Chad McDonald.
The Rebels are now 5-for-5 in the first round of the tournament for small schools. That streak includes a stunning upset of Lexington Catholic in 1996 when the Knights were No. 1 in the state.
This Owen County team starts four juniors and a sophomore, but it doesn't lack experience. Several of its players were in the All "A" in 2012 and 2013.
"They've been in big games before," Coach Devin Duvall said. "They know what to expect."
Duvall expected Williams to come up big. The 6-foot-6 junior had 19 points, 18 rebounds (solidifying his position as the leading rebounder in the state) and four blocked shots against Augusta.
"He does what he does," Duvall said. "He's like a machine."
Williams, already the school's all-time top scorer (1,871 points), said the Rebels came to Frankfort "pretty confident about what we can do. We've had a great season so far, and we hope to keep it going through this."
Owen County needed a strong second half to put away Augusta. Vince Toftness, a 6-0 junior, led the Rebels' surge, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the last 13 minutes.
"When he gets hot and gets going, he's hard to stop," Williams said. Toftness also had five assists.
Chad McDonald added 12 points for Owen County, which improved to 20-2.
"We had a good second half," Duvall said. "We came out in the third quarter and closed out a lot better on their shooters. And I think Augusta got a little bit tired, and their three-point shooting started coming up short."
Augusta, making its first All "A" appearance, was led by Connor Maddox with 15 points. Camryn Snapp had 10 points and seven rebounds. Owen Crawford also had 10 points.
The Panthers were at a disadvantage size-wise against Williams. "He's a load in there, but I thought we did as good a job as we could," Coach Jason Hinson said. "I thought their guards really hurt us. They stepped up and hit some big shots."
Hinson liked the way his team battled.
"A lot of people thought we'd come up here and get beat 80-20, but we didn't. We were in it.
"I'm proud of our team, our school and our effort."
OWEN COUNTY 64, AUGUSTA 50
Owen County (20-2) — Williams 19, Toftness 16, McDonald 12, Osborne 2, Forsee 2, Tackett 5, McAnally 8.
Augusta (16-7) — Crawford 10, Tucker 6, Maddox 15, Snapp 10, Shrader 9.
Owen County 14 12 18 20—64
Augusta 11 13 12 14—50