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The Lady Braves will get ready to play in the 8th Region 32nd District Tournament on their home floor as they will have a second round match up with Owen County at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.
No travel time makes coach Kelli Lee happy because the girls will not have time to relax on a school bus while heading to another school.
“Hopefully that means we can get a bigger crowd here for us and to support us in the tournament,” Lee said. “It would give us an extra edge, especially without having to travel and don’t have the odds and ends of away games. Hopefully we can pull that in our favor and get a win against Owen County.”
The Lady Braves have an opportunity to head to regionals for the first time since the 1996-97 season. However, at that time, according to coach Lee, there were no district tournaments, so each team made it to regionals after the conclusion of the regular season.
In order for Grant County (11-18) to appear in the regional tournament this season, they will have to defeat Owen County (20-12). The Lady Rebels won both games from the Lady Braves in the regular season.
Lee said it will have to take a team effort in order for Grant County to get a win.
“The downside has been we have been in this position the last two seasons,” she said. “For me it is a good feeling to strive to win one game.”
For senior Michelle Willoughby, playing in front of the home crowd for the tournament is exciting.
“I like that we are playing Owen County again, because we haven’t beaten them,” she said, “With the regional tournament in sight, we are going to be focused and work hard to get that win for us.”
If Grant County can win against Owen County, they will reserve a spot in the regional tournament, as well as be playing for the district championship, which they have never won.
Their likely opponent for that game will be Walton-Verona. The last time those two teams met was on Sept. 15 for senior night. In that game, the Lady Braves were able to force a third game, but were unable to muster a win in that game. If they want to win the championship game, they can’t let that happen again.
“It’s always an interesting game and it will bring the best of our game out and it will bring theirs as well,” Willoughby said.
There is a small chance that if Williamstown can beat Gallatin County and Walton-Verona, the two hometown teams could meet for a third time, considering the two teams split in the regular season.
Lee said that if Williamstown and Grant County meet in the district championship game, it will be huge for the community.
“I think we would have a packed gym,” she said, “I don’t think it would be Williamstown/Grant County. I think it would be, ‘let’s represent this community the best way we can when we go to regionals.’ Either one of us can do that, we just got to believe in ourselves.”