Osborne High School’s basketball teams easily prevailed over visiting South Paulding Friday, but neither head varsity coach was particularly impressed with their level of play.
The girls dominated the Lady Spartans, who came to Osborne with a 3-11 season record and were 0-6 in the region, leading by substantial margins after every period and pulling ahead to a 58-37 win. The boys trailed 11-10 at the end of the first period but stymied Spartan scoring in the second and third periods to post a 55-45 victory.
All the Lady Cardinal scoring in the first period was from behind the 3-point line. Ebonee Allen, who led her team in scoring with 17 for the night, hit two, as did Destiny Ham as Osborne jumped out to a 12-3 lead by the end of the quarter. Lauren Smith sank two 3-pointers in the third and Damia Andrews added another as part of her 16-point contribution.
“We hit a lot of threes and we shot a lot of threes, and that’s not really our game,” said coach Melanie Shepherd, whose girls were 7-6 for the season and 3-2 in the region before Tuesday. “We pride ourselves on defensive tips and steals, making the other team turn the ball over.
“I thought we were sloppy,” said Shepherd. “They did a couple of things to us we needed to see. It was a good game to look at what we need to work on. We were coming off a decent [55-35] win against Sprayberry.”
Shepherd said Andrews “had a real nice game, going 7-for-11 from the floor and 100 percent inside the line – not bad at all. And point guard Destiny Ham did a good job handling the ball."
“We got a chance to play younger kids, who got experience handling the ball.”
The Lady Cardinals led 12-3 at the end of the first period, 26-16 at the half and 44-29 at the three-quarter mark.
South Paulding had trouble getting shots to drop throughout, even under the basket, and Osborne picked up its passing game in the final period.
No player from either team scored more than five points in the first half of the boys game. Previously 5-11 Osborne scored 14 in the second period to go into the locker room up 24-15, holding the 4-10 Spartans to only four points in the period while having success near the basket.
Capitalizing on steals, the Cardinals went on a 16-point run in the third period, and South Paulding didn’t score until DeVonair Jackson sank two free-throws with 1:35 remaining in the quarter. Osborne led 42-19 near the end of the third and closed the quarter ahead 42-21.
Osborne began substituting heavily in the fourth, and South Paulding narrowed the margin to 46-30 with 4:55 to play. Behind 55-35 with two minutes left in the game, South Paulding went on a 10-0 run to pull within 10.
“We started sluggish and didn’t play aggressively in the first half,” said Osborne coach Emmett Rouse. “We looked better in the second half.”
Rouse said his team needs “to work on press offense and poise at the end.
“We played average tonight,” he said. “It gives us something to go back to work on.”
There won’t be much time for that as Osborne goes to Pebblebrook Saturday. The Cardinals prevailed by 20 points in their game earlier this season, but Rouse said the Pebblebrook coach was in the stands scouting the Cardinals Friday.
“We’re looking for a good game; we know they’re going to be ready,” he said.
Eleven Osborne players contributed points Friday, with Houston Cabbell leading with 11 and Jacari Edwards adding nine.