Osborne scored the final six points of the ball game for a 50-48 victory in triple overtime during the semifinals of the Region 7AAAAA basketball tournament hosted by Sequoyah.
The Lady Grizzlies led 48-44 after a basket by Dee Blankenship with 1:38 left in the third overtime, but as the Lady Cardinals turned up the pressure on defense, Creekview began turning the ball over.
Not only that, but the Lady Grizzlies struggled to rebound on both ends of the court. Osborne’s Raven Brown and Nikira Goings made shots to tie the game before Zutorya Cook made the game-winning basket with 10 seconds on the clock. A long pass by the Lady Grizzlies was intercepted at mid-court to seal final score.
Creekview coach Roger Nolan, who had never coached a triple-overtime game previously, admitted that he didn’t substitute enough and his players got tired.
“Our kids got a little tired,” Nolan said. “We didn’t sub a lot and they beat us on the boards. That was the difference at the end. I’m proud of our kids. They kept coming back. (Osborne’s) triangle-and-two defense caused us some problems and we got frustrated. We kept our composure and held the lead most of the overtime, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”
The game nearly ended in Creekview’s favor at the end of the second overtime. Free throws by Allison Luly and Lauren Johnson gave the Lady Grizzlies a 3-point advantage with 30 seconds to play. However, Cook’s 3-pointer at the buzzed tied the game at 44-all and forced the third overtime.
The low-scoring game was dominated by the defense and often slowed by offenses stalling the ball. Neither team score more than nine points in any period other than the first which ended with an 11-all tie.
Osborne took an 18-15 lead into the second half and held its biggest lead of the second half 29-22 when Jazzmon Roase drained a basket to open the fourth quarter. Creekview responded with eight straight points and took a 30-29 lead with 5:26 left in the game. The teams traded free throws until the game was tied at 31-all at the end of regulation. Neither team would lead by as many as four points during overtime until Creekview did so with 1:38 left in the game.
Cook led Osborne with 18 points, including eight in overtime, while Goings added 16.
Creekview was led by Lauren Johnson with 14 points. Blankenship and Luly each finished with 13 points.
With the win, Osborne advances to the region championship tomorrow at 6 p.m. against Sequoyah. Following the loss, Creekview will play in the third-place game today at 3 p.m. against Kell.