Sports Editor

OHS wins 9A state title

The Osceola Kowboys celebrate winning the Class 9A state basketball championship.

Diwun black (35 points, 10 rebounds) has career night

Winning these never gets old. Ask Josh Marte. Or Isaiah Palermo, or his brother Jeremiah.

Or ask Coach Nate Alexander, who stayed up late at night working to make this happen.

After winning the Class 9A state title in 2017, the game plan was a little different this time around.

Add Diwun Black.

OHS Diwun Black with the trophy

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Diwun Black, who had 35 points and 10 rebounds in Osceola's 50-43 title-clinching win over Wellington, poses with the Class 9A state championship trophy.

The 6-6, 240-pound center, who will play football at the University of Florida this fall, dominated a basketball game Saturday night. Black scored 35 points and added 10 rebounds and three steals as the Osceola Kowboys (25-7) are state champs again after a come-from-behind 50-43 win over Wellington (24-7) at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Saying Black "took the game over" is an understatement. He scored 23 consecutive Osceola points -- all of their second and third quarter production -- had 24 of its 27 second-half points, and no other Kowboy scored no more than 3, although they provided big moments on the boards and in defense.

The Kowboys trailed the Wolverines, 30-23, after a rough first half in which they shot just 28 percent (9-for-32) from the field. It didn't hurt that Wellington was 12-of-13 from the free throw line in that first half. 

Then Black went to work. Whether it was going strong to the hoop, putting back a miss, or grabbing a steal and going the length of the court, he was the Kowboys' offense when needed, giving a desperate lift to a team that watched Wellington go on a 8-0 run to close the first half. But Black jet-packed a 12-2 Osceola run to open the second half.

While the Wolverines did take one-point leads on three occasions in the second half, Black kept bringing Osceola back.

And Osceola is bringing back the Class 9A boys basketball state championship trophy to Kissimmee.

Check back later for more details.