Underdog Osbourn takes Cougar Holiday Tournament, 34-32

Osbourn girls basketball hasn’t had a ton of success on the hardwood lately. The program’s depth is so depleted it couldn’t form a JV team this year. In short, the Eagles have been an afterthought in powerful Northern Virginia when it comes to girls basketball.

All of that may be changing.

On Saturday afternoon in the Championship of the Manassas Park Tournament, underdog Osbourn gutted out an amazing comeback victory over Freedom-South Riding. The contrast in recent program history between the two schools could not be starker–Freedom won 28 games last year while Osbourn won four. No one is more aware of that than Osbourn coach Paul Robinson, who coached at Freedom last decade and won state championships.

“Last year I was hired a week before tryouts,” Robinson said. “I was trying out kids I didn’t even know, just trying to get those kids excited about the game of basketball.”

His kids definitely were excited yesterday. In the first half Freedom used its height and depth to impose its defensive will on much-smaller Osbourn. At halftime FSR led 15-10, and it just seemed Osbourn simply could not get to the rim enough to get the job done.

That started to change in the third quarter. Osbourn scored 10 points in the third, led by guard Amiyana Williams. Williams started to draw contact and get around Freedom’s sagging defense for buckets. The talented freshman ended up leading Osbourn with 14 points on six-of-thirteen shooting and was named tourney Most Valuable Player.

Amiyana Williams accepting her Most Valuable Player award with Coach Robinson.
Amiyana Williams accepting her Most Valuable Player award with Coach Robinson.

Even so, Freedom still had things in hand with a four-point lead after Grace Farrar buried a three-pointer to close the third quarter. Osbourn responded immediately in the fourth, with sophomore guard Fantasia Payne burying her team’s only three-pointer and Amiyana Williams getting a steal and bucket.

That gave Osbourn (8-2) its first lead of the game, but Freedom senior star forward Brenna Haley (15 points, 12 rebounds) got an offensive rebound put-back to snatch the lead right back. The game continued to see-saw and then more players stepped up for Robinson’s team.

Senior guard Love Delaney got her first field goal of the game on a beautiful drive (link: here) to put Osbourn up late, 32-30. Freedom answered right back with a bucket, but with seconds left Amiyana’s sister Maia scored on another beautiful drive–like Delaney’s also her first field goal of the game–to provide the game-winner.

“We play a different style of basketball, we’re not a finesse, shooting team,” Robinson said. “We’re good off the bounce.”

Despite being a guard, Delaney delivered 12 rebounds as Osbourn was able to hold its own on the glass against Freedom. Fellow senior Steph Taylor added seven points. For Freedom (5-5) junior guard Morgan Koeneke had eight assists, often delivering her passes down into the post for Haley.

Osbourn senior guard Love Delaney's 12 rebounds helped keep Freedom at bay.
Osbourn senior guard Love Delaney’s 12 rebounds helped keep Freedom at bay.

Despite the amazing day, Coach Robinson told us there’s still a ton of work to be done before Osbourn can consistently compete in the tough Cedar Run district.

“We have a long way to go but this is a good win,” he said. “We’re just trying to be an exciting team for our community and get girls basketball back on the map.”

For at least one day, the Osbourn girls did exactly that.

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

DEVITT 0-3 0-0 0 2 0
M.KOENEKE 0-6 0-0 0 2 8
MAIER 3-6 1-2 7 5 0
HALEY 7-10 1-2 15 12 0
FARRAR 3-11 0-0 7 5 1
Vicchio 0-2 0-0 0 0 2
Thyen 1-1 0-0 2 6 0
Curtis 0-1 0-0 0 0 0
Bullock 0-0 1-2 1 0 1
TOTALS 14-40 3-6 32 32 12
Threes: Farrar 1-1, Devitt 0-2, Vicchio 0-2
LOVE 1-9 4-6 6 12 3
F.PAYNE 1-7 2-3 5 3 2
M.WILLIAMS 1-7 0-1 2 3 1
A.WILLIAMS 6-13 2-8 14 2 1
S.TAYLOR 3-5 1-3 7 3 1
V.TAYLOR 0-3 0-0 0 3 0
WEST 0-3 0-2 0 5 0
TOTALS 12-47 9-23 34 31 8
Threes: F.Payne 1-1, V.Taylor 0-1