Osbourn Park star junior guard Ethan Wilson has scored 37 points and 43 points for the Yellow Jackets in victories this season. He’s one of the region’s leading scorers and a big key to making Coach Jeremy Coleman’s team go.
But Thursday night against visiting Colgan Wilson was bottled up by a box-and-one defense most of the night and didn’t get his first points until there were 21.6 seconds left in the game. It was a fantastic defensive game plan by Colgan coach Jason John, yet it still wasn’t enough against an Osbourn Park team that has proven itself anything but one-dimensional. That proved crucial in Osbourn Park’s 59-51 victory.
“We knew they were going to do that [the box-and-one] again,” said Coleman, whose team had defeated Colgan once already this year. “Ethan was prepared for it, so the thing is we had to prepare the other guys to step up.”
Seniors Kylique Walker and JaeSean Otero certainly did step up. Otero had 16 points and was a dominant force on the glass, finishing with 15 rebounds. Walker added 15, while the Yellow Jackets bench threw in 17 combined.
The victory was an uphill climb most of the way against a Colgan team determined to give its best effort. The Sharks took an early 7-0 lead and bottled up not just Wilson, but just about everyone early on. Osbourn Park righted the ship about midway through the first quarter, cutting the Sharks’ advantage to 15-12 by the end of it.
Then the Jackets started to force turnovers and get some buckets in transition. They forced 18 Colgan first half turnovers and tied the game at halftime, then clamped down on defense even more in the third quarter to take a 41-37 lead. Colgan kept it close, with a Blake Edwards three-pointer cutting the Jackets’ lead to 48-46 with just over three minutes left.
The Yellow Jackets then closed the door. Otero ripped down a defensive rebound with just over two minutes left and took it the length of the floor for a lay-up to give his team a 51-46 lead. After a Colgan time out the Sharks then succumbed to the home team’s full court press, committing yet another turnover. Osbourn Park’s victory was essentially sealed, though Coleman’s team did have some anxious moments to follow attempting to play keep-away and hit free throws.
Colgan (1-13) was led by senior George Howe, who had a nice game with 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Noah Wheatley added 10 and the seven other players who played for the young Sharks all scored.
Osbourn Park (8-9), young in its own right, got some nice contributions from a pair of freshmen. Point guard Cameron Cole dished out four assists and did a good job controlling the ball, especially at the end of the game. Classmate Logan Dwyer contributed eight points off the bench, as did junior Jaren Cazar. Wilson, while he didn’t score, played solid defense and did the things necessary to set up his teammates against the box-and-one, like setting screens in the high post.
It was another nice win for Coleman’s team, which seems to be headed in the right direction this year after a 4-18 finish last season.
“We’re on target right now,” the first-year head coach said. “We walked in here with a four-year process, the first year was just to be competitive. And they’ve been very competitive.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Walker 2-7, Cazar 2-11, Dwyer 1-3, Cole 0-7, Otero 0-1, Wilson 0-1|
|Threes: Wheatley 2-3, Garrison 1-1, A.Howe 1-1, Smith 1-2, Edwards 1-2, Penn 1-3|