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It was a significant night for senior guard Zack Blue (10 points), not just for his team's victory.

Patriot tames OP 65-50 on special night at home

Patriot raced to a 25-10 first quarter lead and four players scored in double figures as the Pioneers defeated Osbourn Park in a Cedar Run matchup Tuesday night.

It was a special night for those in attendance as Patriot dedicated the evening to epilepsy awareness. Pioneers senior guard Zack Blue’s 13-year-old sister Ashley passed away due to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy) this October, and his girlfriend Hannah Nugent organized the evening. Hannah gave a stirring speech before the game and those in attendance wore superhero garb to honor Ashley.

The Patriot players seemed to be inspired early by the special significance of the evening as they raced to their early lead. Seven players scored, and the Pioneers applied constant full court pressure after their makes to put Osbourn Park on its heels. It didn’t help the Yellow Jackets that star senior guard Ethan Wilson did not play the first quarter for an undisclosed reason.

Wilson entered the game in the second quarter and Osbourn Park immediately went on an 8-0 run. Junior guard Chad Watson got hot, though, scoring 11 first half points off three three-pointers to help the Pioneers regain their double-digit lead.

The Pioneers' Chad Watson's (#2) 11 first half points kept OP at bay early.
Junior guard Chad Watson’s (#2) 11 first half points kept OP at bay early.

Patriot led by 16 at halftime but Osbourn Park again clawed back, cutting the lead to 11 late in the third quarter. The Pioneers deflated the Jackets’ momentum when Ellis Nayeri found senior Jackson Ford for a three-pointer as time expired in the third.

Osbourn Park never really threatened after that. Junior guard Trey Nelson helped seal things at the line with seven second half free throws, and the home win was assured for Patriot.

Junior guard Trey Nelson (right) had 15 points and seven second half free throws.
Junior guard Trey Nelson (right) had 15 points and seven second half free throws.

Ford, Nelson, Blue, and Watson did most of the damage for Patriot (2-1, 10-4), all reaching double figures. Patriot coach Sherman Rivers was excited about his defense, which held an opponent to under 50 points for the fifth straight game.

Ethan Wilson, shown here guarded by Blue, registered his 1,000th career point.
Ethan Wilson, shown here guarded by Blue, registered his 1,000th career point.

Wilson ended up having another good game for Osbourn Park (0-3, 6-6), getting 15 points and nine rebounds. He scored his 1,000th career point as well, becoming the first Yellow Jackets player in decades to do that. Freshman guard Jayden Ross added 12 points.

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

PATRIOT FG FT TP REB AST
JOHNSON 1-8 3-4 5 1 0
NELSON 3-6 7-10 15 4 4
BLUE 4-9 2-2 10 0 4
DAVIS 2-4 0-1 4 4 1
FORD 5-9 3-5 16 6 1
Watson 4-8 0-0 11 6 1
Stringer 1-5 2-3 4 7 1
Nayeri 0-2 0-0 0 4 1
Ackerman 0-1 0-0 0 0 0
Perry 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
TOTALS 20-52 17-25 65 33 13
Threes: Watson 3-4, Ford 3-5, Nelson 2-3, Blue 0-3,        Nayeri 0-1, Ackerman 0-1
OSBOURN PARK FG FT TP REB AST
ROSS 4-6 1-3 12 3 0
DWYER 0-3 0-0 0 3 0
SHOEMAKER 1-7 0-0 2 2 6
LOGAN 4-8 2-3 10 7 0
COLE 2-7 1-4 5 0 2
Miller 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Oduro 1-5 1-4 3 5 1
Cazar 1-1 0-0 3 0 0
Wilson 5-13 2-4 15 9 2
TOTALS 18-50 7-18 50 29 11
Threes: Wilson 3-8, Ross 3-3, Cazar 1-1, Cole 0-2, Dwyer 0-3

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