By: Digital Devil Staff

Heartbreaking. Wednesday night’s game between the Owensboro Red Devils and the Tomcats of Ashland Blazer in the opening round of the Kentucky State Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena was, in a word, heartbreaking. 

Owensboro led for the majority of the game, outplaying a relentless Ashland squad until the final seconds. A Tomcats three-pointer with 17 seconds ended the Dev’s season with a 66-65 loss before a sea of red and black in the mecca of Kentucky hoops, but this game does not diminish a season of perseverance for Coach Rod Drake’s squad.

The Red Devils finished an up-and-down regular season at 14-10, but saved their best for the postseason, running off five straight double-digit wins to pick up their fifth-consecutive district championship and their first regional crown since 2019. 

In addition to the hardware, the 2022-2023 season was one of milestones for the Red Devils.

Senior Kenyatta Carbon scored his 1780th career point on Wednesday night, good for second all-time, cementing his name amongst the likes of Higgs, Johnson, Davenport and Hagan in OHS lore. Carbon was also selected to the All-District and All-Region Teams and was also named Regional Tournament MVP after averaging 22.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. 

This season also saw Coach Rod Drake eclipse 250 career wins while at the helm of OHS Boys Basketball, a tenure that now includes four regional championships to go along with the 2015 state championship over 15 successful seasons. 

In spite of having an atypical high school experience, the outgoing senior class–Kenyatta Carbon, Kanye Johnson, Ethan Pendleton, Cayman Powell, Jalen Rogers, Talas Taylor, and Jai Webb–will depart 1800 Frederica Street having left quite a legacy, amassing 74 wins, four district championships, and this year’s run to Rupp.

And while the season has come to an end, the resolve and commitment of this team was undeniable. These Red Devils created memories that will not soon be forgotten. Congratulations on an outstanding year.

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