There was a chippiness evident from the start of Wednesday night’s Patriot-Osbourn boys’ basketball clash in Nokesville. The first half of the Cedar Run District game had no shortage of hard fouls, pushing and shoving and aggressive defense.
Host Patriot, which came in averaging 72 points, had 18 at halftime and trailed by three. But the Pioneers turned up the pressure in the second half, scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 57-47 win.
“We started out kind of slow, but once we started picking up and pressuring, they got rattled a little bit and we just started playing better,” said senior guard Devon Parrish, who led the Pioneers with 25 points, including making 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc.
Hagen Vandiver, Parrish’s backcourt mate, added 16 points. The senior tandem’s chemistry is a big reason the Pioneers are off to a 14-1 start (3-0 in the Cedar Run).
“I couldn’t ask for a better backcourt to have,” Patriot Coach Sherman Rivers said. “I think it’s the best one going for sure.”
Parrish and Vandiver communicated well all game and dazzled with no-look passes and smooth execution.
That synergy has been years in the making. The two grew up in the same area and have been playing together since elementary school. They are Patriot’s top two scorers, each averaging more than 15 points.
“We’ve been playing together ever since [fifth grade], so I think that really helps us and allows us to play well together,” Vandiver said. “We’re really good friends off the court, so it translates well to what we’re going to do.”
Osbourn dropped to 13-3, 2-1.
Rivers’s takeaway was the need for four quarters of consistency.
“We have to make sure we put our imprint on the game and not let somebody do it to us,” Rivers said.
“In the first half, we were letting them tell us what we were going to do. In the second half, we were the aggressors.”