The former Walker Viking was looking for a new basketball program.
He found one and fit right in. Owens transferred to Carbon Hill and promptly made his presence felt throughout Class 3A competition, as well as throughout the state. It was a perfect match.
Ninth-year Carbon Hill head coach Robert Epps decided to put the ball in Owens’ hands.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior was inserted as the Bulldogs’ starting point guard and played his role to perfection.
“He’s a great ball-handler and a good decision maker. One of the best parts of his game was his ability to break down the opponent’s defense, makes the right pass and makes the right decision,” Epps said.
Owens made plenty of good decisions and helped the Bulldogs to their best season ever.
With Owens running the point and controlling the floor, Carbon Hill finished its year at 30-2 and set a school record for single-season victories.
“One of the biggest things was his willingness to pass the ball. He’s very unselfish. There were many nights where he could have scored more, but he chose to pass the ball. Pretty much, he was driving the car and everyone else was along for the ride. We had other really good players, but he really made the difference for us,” Epps said.
For his consistent efforts that lead Carbon Hill to its most victories ever, Owens has been named as the Daily Mountain Eagle’s 2010-11 Boys Player of the Year.
Thanks in part to his contributions, the Bulldogs saw their dream season come up just one win short of playing for their first ever state championship, falling 58-46 to Greensboro in the Class 3A, Final Four at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham.
Owens, along with freshman Gerald Smith, more than held their own.
Owens finished with a game-high 18 points and connected on 6-of-13 from the field (2-of-5 from the three-point line and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line) while adding five assists, a block, and a steal.
Smith scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
The duo also teamed up on a pair of ally-oops late in the third quarter and early in the fourth when Owens lobbed to a wide-open Smith, who threw down back-to-back, two-handed thunderous dunks that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
By game’s end, the crowd had grown partial to Owens’ style of play. Owens also excelled in the Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State Hanceville’s Tom Drake Coliseum, where he earned MVP honors. In the regional tournament-opening 55-41 win over Clements, Owens scored 13 points and followed with a 14-point, five-assist performance in a 48-38 win over Lauderdale County in the tournament championship. For the season, he averaged 13.5 points per game while adding 6.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and three steals.
Owens, who also earned Class 3A, Second Team All-State honors, hopes to build on his numbers next year and help the Bulldogs continue their success on the hardwood.
Owens, Smith and Blaine Eads will all return to Carbon Hill next season.