Battlefield’s all-time leading scorer erupted for 16 of his 29 points in the frame, transforming a two-point halftime deficit into a double-digit advantage.
But other, subtler tweaks on the defensive side proved just as critical in the Bobcats’ 82-64 Conference 8 victory in Haymarket.
Battlefield Coach Kurt Pauly elected to play coy about those.
“It’s a little secret what we did because we’ll probably play these guys again,” Pauly said. “We probably weren’t as aggressive off the ball. We spied them a little bit.”
Osbourn (9-6, 3-1) led 18-13 after one quarter before Battlefield woke up. Blondin’s buzzer-beating lefty layup off the glass cut the Eagles’ lead to 34-32 at the half.
The only player to score more than two first-quarter points for Battlefield (12-5, 5-1) was senior guard Jamison Glover. Early on, he noticed the officials were quick to whistle upon contact.
“When we noticed that the refs were calling fouls for the contact when we went to the basket, I told everybody, ‘Go to the basket; they’re calling it today,’ ” said Glover, who finished with 20 points. “Sometimes they don’t, sometimes they do, but today we were attacking the rim.”
Justin Vargo led Osbourn with 25 points, including four three-pointers, but for the junior sharpshooter, the third quarter seemed to snowball.
“They went on a big run, and we just lost our energy,” he said of the second half. “We missed shots, and they made theirs. That contributed [to the loss] more than anything.”
Battlefield’s offense ran through Blondin during its 17-2 run to open the second half, but four other Bobcats also scored.
“We ran our plays,” Blondin said. “If we weren’t hitting the first option, we were hitting the second and third. We attacked the basket and got to the free throw line.”
The biggest cheer of the night from the Battlefield faithful came in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, with the game in hand.
Senior guard Devondre Henry , a three-year player who missed all of 2012 with a broken wrist, stepped to the free throw line and sank the second of two free throws, much to the delight of the Bobcats’ student section.
“I don’t get to play at all, pretty much,” Henry said. “It’s very exciting to score. That feels very good. I just like seeing my peers cheer for me.”
Osbourn won the team’s first matchup, 58-57, back in December.