The Sprayberry Yellow Jackets hosted the Osborne Cardinals for a couple of regional basketball games on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Sprayberry girls were defending a 4-game win streak, while the Osborne boys were looking to defeat the Yellow Jackets for the second time this season.
The girls were up first, and the Yellow Jackets were ready, putting up 22 points in the first quarter. They would post another 14 points in the second quarter, with 9 points coming from three-pointers. Osborne couldn’t keep pace with Sprayberry’s scoring, posting only 9 points in the first and 12 in the second. The first half ended with the Yellow Jackets in control, 21-36.
Sprayberry kept their tempo going through the second half, sinking 5 three-point shots and scoring 40 more points. Despite pressure defense, the Osborne girls couldn’t overcome Sprayberry’s rebounding and shooting. The Yellow Jackets extended their win-streak to 5 with a final score of 39-76.
The boys game got underway next, and was much more evenly matched. The first quarter was something a three-point shooting contest, with both teams combining to sink seven field-goals to close out the quarter deadlocked, 16-16. The second quarter was back-and-forth with Osborne taking a five-point lead late in the half, but Sprayberry battled back to dwindle the lead to one. The Cardinals took a one-point lead into the halftime break, 32-31.
Halftime adjustments included less three-point shooting for both teams. Inside basketball and pressure defense produced a lot of free-throw attempts for both sides. Sprayberry battled back in the third and held a one-point lead at the end of the quarter, 49-50. Osborne’s offense wasn’t to be denied though and the Cardinals owned a five-point lead with less than a minute left in the game. A precision three-point shot gave the Yellow Jackets hope with 2 seconds left on the clock, but the Cardinals were able to expire the clock and take the win, 67-65.
Cardinal Head Coach Vincent Thomas was pleased with how his team played. “We played well in the clutch,” he said, “we kept our composure. Defensive rotation and rebounding need some work, but if we can do that we should be fine going the rest of the way.”
Osborne will host Sequoyah for a regional matchup on Friday, January 24, and Sprayberry welcomes regional and district rival Allatoona on Thursday, January 23.