After showing flashes of inside domination in the final period of a 61-53 loss to Archbishop Spalding Sunday, Towson Catholic's Jason Osborne was on for 32 minutes in Severn last night as the Owls got sweet revenge in Baltimore Catholic League action.
The hulking, but very agile 6-foot-8 and 250-pound Osborne's presence under the basket, coupled with a poor shooting night (19-for-70, 27 percent from the field) by the No. 4 ranked Cavaliers (14-9), resulted in a 58-53 victory for the No. 2 Owls (21-5).
With a box-and-one, Spalding kept high-scoring guard Keith Jenifer's point total down again, 14 last night after 16 on Sunday, but this time the Owls compensated by shooting 47 percent (23-for-49) as a team and proving that they are not a one-man offense.
"Osborne was tremendous on the defensive glass blocking shots," Owls coach Mike Daniel said. "No, we're not all Keith Jenifer, but I'm the kind of coach, that if a kid's on a roll, I don't like taking his thunder. We can win other ways, too."
Towson Catholic got 17 and 13 points, respectively, from sophomores Darnell Hopkins and Carmelo Anthony (nine rebounds, four assists) to complement Osborne and overcome a game-high 23 points, 17 in the second half, by Spalding's Villanova-bound point guard, Derrick Snowden.
Spalding also got 10 points and nine rebounds from Cory Hudson and a six-point, 10-rebound night from Darren Johnson.
Osborne scored 11 points, but more importantly, he grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked eight shots. When he wasn't swatting Cavalier shots like flies, Osborne caused his opponents to alter many shots.
"They came to play and Osborne was a major factor. Our shot selection was not very good," said Spalding coach Mike Glick, whose team was 2-for-13 from three-point range.
Spalding cut into Towson Catholic's seven-point (23-16) halftime lead with its best shooting period of the night, 8-for-19, and trailed 37-34 starting the final period.
After Hopkins sank two from the line for a 52-46 Towson Catholic lead with 1: 22 left, Snowden (nine rebounds, two assists, three steals) landed his second three-pointer with 1: 09 remaining. Snowden immediately stole the inbounds pass and went in for a layup that Osborne put right back in his face.
Anthony's outlet pass to Jenifer resulted in an easy layup at the other end and a 54-49 lead with a minute to go.
With the win, Towson Catholic regained sole possession of first place in the league at 8-1. Spalding slipped to 7-2. It's the second straight season the two teams, who have developed an intense rivalry, split during the regular season. Towson Catholic won last year's regular-season title while Spalding copped the BCL tournament.
Sunday's victory by the Cavaliers ended the Owls' 17-game winning streak and knocked them out of The Sun's No. 1 ranking, giving the visitors all the incentive they needed last night.
"That's what it was," said Osborne, who was the sixth man on nationally acclaimed Rice (N.Y.) last season before transferring to Towson Catholic.
"After the loss Sunday, we felt hurt because we lost our winning streak and No. 1 ranking, and we just wanted to come back and take them out tonight."