It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Region 7AAAAA champion finally found its momentum, en route to a 64-48 win over Hiram.
According to the Georgia High School Basketball Project website, it was the first postseason win for the Cardinals program in 49 years — since it made the quarterfinal round of the Class AAA tournament in 1965
Osborne (23-6) was ahead by six points going into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, with the result very much still up for grabs.
Four minutes later, the game was out of reach. The Cardinals went on a 17-0 run, missing just one shot during the stretch.
Osborne will be back in action Tuesday to host Stephenson, which defeated Salem in its first-round game.
Nine of the 17 straight points in the Cardinals’ game-clinching run came from beyond the arc, with Kyire Hogan hitting two 3s and his brother, Shaihem, accounting for the other. Tayriq Morris chipped in with a layup off a long pass from D’Haire Haney, and the only missed shot by Osborne during the run was finished off by Haney.
When Hiram’s Devon Brewer hit a layup with 4:28 left in the game, Osborne was up 57-37.
“We just started playing. That’s all,” Osborne coach Emmett Rouse said. “Somebody flipped the switch.”
The Hogan brothers each finished with 20 points to lead the Cardinals. Haney added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Morris and Delone Murphey both finished with six points.
Before the switch was flipped, Osborne didn’t seem to play with much energy. It struggled to find open looks in the first quarter before turning the ball over. The Cardinals only took seven shots, and found themselves trailing 15-8 going into the second.
Osborne managed to fight its way back into the game in the second quarter by drawing fouls. Shaihem Hogan was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in the period, and Kyire Hogan made all four of his attempts when he got to the line. His fourth free throw gave Osborne its first lead of the game at 24-23 with 1:15 left.
Hiram fought back and took a four-point lead — 30-26 — in the early stages of the third. But the Cardinals answered with nine unanswered points — five coming from Haney — to take the lead for good.
“(Hiram) came out with a good game plan of shutting us down inside,” Rouse said, “but we were playing like we were enjoying region instead of trying to win state.”
Ten different players scored for Hiram, led by Demiere Brown and Josh Hood leading at 13 points. Jonathan Greenard led the Hornets with 10 rebounds.