Red Devils, Aces clash for title

Mar. 18—Longtime rivals Owensboro and Owensboro Catholic square off at 7 p.m. on Thursday at

Mar. 18—Longtime rivals Owensboro and Owensboro Catholic square off at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Sportscenter for the boys’ 9th District Basketball Tournament championship.

The defending champion and No. 1 Red Devils (10-5) advanced to the finals on Monday with a 67-43 conquest of No. 4 seed Apollo.

OHS got 21 points from sophomore guard Kenyata Carbon, who scored 11 in the first quarter, 16 points from senior guard Amari Robinson-Wales, and 10 points off the bench from ever-improving sophomore swingman Talas Taylor.

Now, the Red Devils meet an Aces team they easily handled 79-51 on March 9, but Owensboro coach Red Drake knows his contingent must be ready for Catholic.

“It’s a rivalry,” said Drake, whose OHS team defeated Catholic in last year’s district tournament title game, only to lose to the Aces in the championship game of the 3rd Region Tournament.

No. 2 seed Catholic advanced to the finals with Tuesday’s 55-47 victory over No. 3 seed Daviess County — playing without senior swingman Gray Weaver (ankle) and high-scoring sophomore point guard Brian Griffith (22.6 ppg), lost for the season to a knee injury.

The Aces (16-8) were led by junior forward Ji Webb (22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks), junior forward Sam McFarland (13 points, 5 rebounds), and junior guard Braden Mundy (5 assists).

Up next? The Red Devils.

“It’s going to be a hard game,” OCHS coach Tim Riley said. “We need to find a way to cut down our turnovers — they kill you with points in transition, points off turnovers, and offensive rebounds.”

Both teams will advance to next week’s regional tournament, also at the Sportscenter.