With 3 minutes left in the third quarter of Osborne’s Class AAAAA second round playoff game, officials stopped to discuss a discrepancy in the number of fouls that had been assessed to Tucker’s Nuba Jackson.
Jackson had already been issued her fifth foul, but after a conference that lasted nearly 10 minutes, the officiating crew ruled that she had only accumulated four. The Lady Cardinals led 48-40 at that point, but what followed was a 20-4 run by Tucker that sealed the contest late in the fourth quarter.
Tucker went on to win the game 65-59, earning a trip to the third round of the state tournament, while Osborne’s season comes to a close.
Osborne coach Melanie Samuel was not happy after the game.
“They were arguing about whether or not that player had five fouls,” she said. “My book had five, the official statistician had five, and they said she had four. They didn’t go with the home book.”
Osborne still maintained a 48-44 lead at the end of the third quarter, but Tucker dominated the fourth. Jackson took advantage of her re-entry into the game and connected on a 3-pointer to close the lead to one, 48-47, and the onslaught from the Lady Tigers continued.
Point guard Tori Robinson made a steal and scored on a fast break later in the quarter, giving Tucker their first lead since the first period at 53-52.
Erykah Davenport converted an old fashioned three-point play late in the game, giving Tucker a 60-52 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Davenport led her team with 23 points.
“I wasn’t aware that we (went on the 20-4 run), but maybe we just needed some rest,” Tucker coach Robin Potter said. “What we were trying to do is run (Osborne) the entire game to the point where they’d be worn down in the fourth quarter.”
Osborne certainly showed a high level of energy in the first half, starting the game on a 10-4 run, helped along by a 3-point basket by Raven Brown.
Tucker lead at the end of the first period 19-18, but Osborne continued to shoot a high percentage from the free throw line and led at halftime 43-32. Osborne made 9-of-10 free throws in the first quarter and 12-of-17 in the first half.
The second quarter belonged to Osborne’s Nikira Goings, who opened the period with a 3-pointer for a 21-19 lead, and made a buzzer beating 3 to give the Lady Cardinals their halftime margin. Goings finished with a game-high 26 points.
“We’ve been down by 10 on many occasions at halftime this season,” Potter said. “And we were able to come back and win. Osborne was playing really well when we were down, but we never felt like we were out of it.
“This is the kind of game that springs you forward, we’ll have another tough game in the next round, and I think this will propel us.”
Tucker will take on Salem in the third round of the state playoffs, while Osborne will look to rebuild on a successful season that included a region championship.