Sparked by a 19–2 run to start the game Tuesday night, host Patriot beat Osbourn Park 65–50. Four different players scored in double figures for Patriot, led by Jackson Ford and Trey Nelson, who had 16 and 15 points, respectively.
To honor the sister of Patriot boys basketball player Zack Blue, Patriot used the game as a way to raise awareness for SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.) Thirteen-year-old Ashley Blue died from the affliction Oct. 11. Ashley's parents are both Osbourn Park graduates.
Besides raising awareness, Patriot also encouraged people in attendance to wear superhero attire. Ashley was a big Batman and Superman fan. For the game, Patriot head coach Sherman Rivers sported a Superman T-shirt. His assistants also wore superhero shirts, while some fans dressed in full costumes.
"I felt it was important to show tribute to Ashley," Rivers said. "Hannah Nugent (Zack Blue's girlfriend) did a great job of putting the whole event together."
Patriot led 25–10 over Osbourn Park after one quarter behind eight points from Nelson.
The Pioneers went scoreless in the first four minutes of the second quarter, allowing the Yellow Jackets to cut the lead to 25–16. Patriot sharpshooter Chad Watson caught fire in the final four minutes, however, hitting a trio of three-balls to help the Pioneers get their lead back up to 35–19 at halftime.
The two teams traded buckets for the bulk of the third quarter before a few highlight plays occurred in the final two minutes. Osbourn Park's Ethan Wilson drained a three-pointer from the top of the key at the 1:56 mark to give him exactly 1,000 points for his career. He is the first Osbourn Park boys basketball player to reach that mark since 1992.
Then, Ford drained a deep three-pointer in front of his team’s bench as time expired to give Patriot a 44–30 lead going into the fourth period.
In the final frame, the Yellow Jackets weren’t able to fight all the way back as Patriot hit 12 of their 16 free throws to put the game on ice.
“The biggest thing that we’ve done over the last month or so is to dig in defensively,” Rivers said after the game. “You obviously see we have droughts offensively, and there are points when we don’t make shots but we just keep defending.”
“If we’re holding teams to under 50, we’re doing a good job,” he added.
Watson finished the game with 11 points for Patriot, all in the first half, and Blue added 10 of his own.
For Osbourn Park, three players scored in double figures, led by 15 from Wilson. Freshman Jayden Ross added 12 and junior Rahim Woni chipped in 10 for the Yellow Jackets.
With the win, Patriot improved to 10–4 overall and 2-1 in the Cedar Run District on the season. Osbourn Park fell to 6–6 overall and 0-3 in the district.
Patriot 65, Osbourn Park 50
Wilson (5 FG, 2–4 FT) 15 pts, Ross (4 FG, 1–3 FT) 12 pts, Woni (4 FG, 2–3 FT) 10 pts, Cole (2 FG, 1–4 FT) 5 pts, Cazar (1 FG, 0–0) 3 pts, Oduro (1 FG, 1–4 FT) 3 pts, Shoemaker (1 FG, 0–0 FT) 2 pts, Miller (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts, Dwyer (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts, Vassin (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts. TOTAL: 18 FG, 7–18 FT, 50 pts
Ford (5 FG, 3–5 FT) 16 pts, Nelson (3 FG, 7–10 FT) 15 pts, Watson (4 FG, 0–0 FT) 11 pts, Blue (4 FG, 2–2 FT) 10 pts, Johnson (1 FG, 3–4 FT) 5 pts, Stringer (1 FG, 2–3 FT) 4 pts, Perry (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts, Ackerson (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts, Nayeri (0 FG, 0–0 FT) 0 pts,TOTAL 20 FG, 17–25 FT, 65 pts
HALF: Patriot 35, Osbourn Park 19
3PT: Osbourn Park 7 (Wilson 3, Ross 3, Cazar), Patriot 8 (Watson 3, Ford 3, Nelson 2)