Before turning their attention to district tournament play, Osceola and Poinciana held an Orange Belt Conference championship game, taking their 7-0 county play records into Poinciana’s Mike Brizendine Gym Friday.
Those there were treated to a good game that fit the billing.
Diwun Black scored a 11 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter to lead the Kowboys (17-7) to a 57-54 win over host Poinciana on Friday night.
The victory, Osceola’s seventh in a row, earned another OBC championship. Poinciana fell to 15-8 and saw its seven-game winning streak snapped as it fell to 7-1.
“We were lucky to get the win tonight,” OHS Coach Nate Alexander said. “We missed too many free throws and had trouble finishing underneath, but give Poinciana a lot of credit. They played a good physical game and made us work for every basket. The packed gym definitely gave it a playoff atmosphere.”
It was a tight game throughout. After Osceola jumped out to a eight point lead midway through the first period, Poinciana used the hot shooting of Reggie Mesidor, who scored nine points in the first half, to take a 25-24 lead at halftime.
Black’s 11 points in the third quarter allowed the Kowboys to pull even at 42-42 after three periods.
With the game tied at 46-46, Osceola took the lead for good as Jaduhkiss Soto scored on a slam dunk and Josh Marie stole the inbounds pass and found Black for another dunk to make it 50-46.
Trailing 55-52 with 36 seconds remaining, Poinciana’s Jahsean Corbett was fouled while making a layup but missed the ensuing free throw as Osceola held on to a narrow 55-54 lead.
Holding a 56-54 lead, Josh Marte would miss the front end of a one-and-one and Black would be called for an over the back foul, giving Anthony Duncan a chance to tie the game from the free throw line with eight seconds remaining. Duncan would miss the front end, however, and Black would rebound. Marte would then hit the front end as Osceola held on for the win.
Osceola made just six of 16 free throws and missed the front end of three one-and-ones.
“The officials were letting both teams play tonight,” Alexander added. “When that happens you have to take advantage of your opportunities from the free throw line. We didn’t do that very well tonight, but it was still a solid win.”
In addition to Black’s 22 points, Soto added 15 for the Kowboys. Mesidor and Corbett had 13, while Duncan added 12 for the Eagles.
The teams then turned to the district tournaments. Poinciana shook off Friday’s loss with an impressive 71-34 win over Tavares in a District 6A-13 quarterfinal. The Eagles traveled to Bishop Moore in a semifinal played Tuesday after print deadline for the right to go to the regional playoffs.
Osceola played in a District 9A-7 semifinal on Wednesday night against Gateway, a 75-65 winner Monday over Ridge in a quarterfinal game.