Osbourn Park's Roll
Hits Bump on the Road The Osbourn Park boys had a chance to avenge two early-season losses in the span of about 18 hours but fell, 59-51 in overtime, at Stafford yesterday after winning, 60-57, at Hylton on Friday night.
Junior James Broderick hit a three-pointer early in the overtime that gave the Yellow Jackets (9-5) a one-point lead, but that turned out to be their only basket of the extra session.
"We're not going to let this ruin us," Osbourn Park Coach Danny Lawray said. "I told the boys we just have to look at Stafford as our springboard. The last time we lost to them we came back and won three straight."
That 57-56 loss to the Indians on Dec. 10 was far more wrenching than the setback yesterday. In the first one, the Yellow Jackets blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead. But wins over Gar-Field, Brentsville and Springbrook (Md.) followed.
The team that snapped that three-game December winning streak was Hylton, 65-56, in the second round of the Mount Vernon Christmas Tournament, which made the victory Friday all the more rewarding. Hylton had won four straight in the series.
"It was a good situation for us," Lawray said. "We played pretty well, and any time you can avenge an earlier loss to a team it's always a good thing. And to do it on their home floor also was a good thing."
Hylton (8-3), which has dropped three of its past four games after a 7-0 start, plays at Osbourn Park at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in a makeup game.
Busy Week The Brentsville boys (9-6, 5-0), off from Jan. 18 until Tuesday when they play at Bull Run District co-leader Clarke County (12-1, 7-0), will make up for that break by suiting up for four games in five days beginning Friday against Madison County.
The Tigers then play Strasburg on Saturday, Clarke again on Feb. 3 and Rappahannock on Feb. 4.
Clarke County, ranked third among Virginia A schools by the Associated Press, has won 11 straight.
"We're bigger than they are, but I think they're a little more athletic at each position," Brentsville Coach Doug Poppe said. "They like to get it and go, get shots up quickly, and we're more patient. It's going to be good game either way.
"We're looking for an undefeated season in the district. We're certainly capable of doing it."
Brentsville has lost three regular season Bull Run games in the past two-plus seasons.
Better Late The late-game situational work the Gar-Field girls have been doing in practice paid off Friday in a 39-35 win at Potomac. The Indians, who had lost four straight, trailed early in the fourth quarter but eventually took a lead on an inside basket from junior forward Nicole Atkinson with just more than two minutes to play, and junior center Tina Roebuck, a 48.4 percent free-throw shooter, made two foul shots with 28.3 seconds left.
"We've been having too many of these close games where we get within three, four, five points and we just don't . . . execute," said Indians Coach Larry Baker, whose team has lost by three to O'Connell, six to Stonewall Jackson, eight to Forest Park and two to Woodbridge. "We've been working a lot on doing the right thing in pressure situations.
"We make that free throw in the first quarter, or we make that layup in the first quarter, and take the same exact situation and put it in the fourth quarter -- game on the line -- and then we don't execute as well."
The Indians (8-7), on the road for four consecutive nondistrict outings, have been outrebounded in only one game this season, the loss to Woodbridge. On average, they outboard opponents by 14 a game.
Against Potomac, sophomore Jameka Smith had 12 and Atkinson 11. Smith also assisted on Atkinson's game-winning basket.
Encouraging Loss After winning 58 games the past four seasons, the Potomac girls' basketball team had grown accustomed to not counting moral victories. But the 39-35 home loss to Gar-Field was just that for the youthful Panthers (4-10), who are still working new players into their rotation.
Playing without junior forward Erika McDavid (injured knee), the team's second-leading scorer, and with top player Tiffany Jenkins, a junior, battling an illness but in action, Potomac almost gutted out a win against a team it had lost to by 20 earlier in the season.
"I'll be honest with you," Coach Mike Adkins said, "I was sitting in my office tonight and I've got two kids who aren't here at 5:20, I've got one who [forgot] shoes, I've got Tiffany with a fever, I've got Erika on the bench, I've got [another one] off with her grandfather because he's sick. I'm sitting here going, what else can happen? Then to watch the kids play as hard as they did tonight, you could see my excitement."
The Panthers, who did not commit a turnover until well into the second quarter, led by three early in the fourth period but managed no field goals, missing all 13 attempts, many of them hastily fired three-pointers when perhaps a more deliberate approach would have better served them. For the game, Potomac made 12 of 53 shots.
One bright spot was freshman Heather Jerden, who scored six points, four off offensive rebounds. She and R.E. Lee-Staunton transfer Kasha Frye were not with the varsity at the start of the season, nor was sophomore guard Donika Everett.
"We feel pretty good about where we are and what we've done so far, and where we can be at the end of the year," Adkins said.
-- Preston Williams