FREDERICKTOWN — Tuesday evening was a dream come true for Drew Osborne and the Centerburg Trojans.
After struggling in a see-saw battle with the host Fredericktown Freddies all evening, the Trojans (7-6, 6-3 MBC) monopolized the ball in overtime and ended the game with a crescendo. Osborne (seven rebounds, four steals) landed a 3-pointer from near the top of the arc with only two seconds left in the overtime period to give the Trojans a heartstopping 30-27 victory over the Freddies in a matchup of Mid-Buckeye Conference basketball rivals.
“That’s a dream come true,” said Osborne, who had 10 points for the night. “That’s a dream shot. I don’t know how that went in, honestly. We just had good ball movement, caught them off guard and it just fell.”
After losing to Fredericktown at home earlier this season, it was an opportunity for Centerburg to return the favor on its rival’s home court. The Trojans did it with tight defense and superior ball control.
“I thought we did a good job controlling the basketball the last time we played them, too,” said Centerburg coach Jim Simpson. “We played them exactly the way we wanted to. The last time the ball kinda fell for them and, this time, the ball fell for us. It was one of those things. I felt we controlled both games. I give credit to my kids. They knew that we were going to do it tonight.”
“That’s not taking anything away from Fredericktown,” Simpson continued. “They’re the best team in the league right now. They have that target right now and we don’t. We just have to keep playing our game. We came here to win. We didn’t come here to do anything else but win.”
That was more than noticeable on both ends of the court.
“It seemed like Centerburg was a step quicker tonight,” said Fredericktown coach Kirk Manns. “It seemed like their kids were more physical and it seemed like it was a little more important to them tonight, which is unacceptable from our standpoint, so they deserve to win that game tonight.”
Ball control was the big problem for the Freddies, who sufferred their first league loss of the season.
“Well, we turned the ball over (20 times),” said Manns. “Our field goal percentage was 11-for-33. You don’t deserve to win when you rebound like that and shoot like that.”
Centerburg had only 11 turnovers and didn’t beat themselves.
“I think there was a key situation where we turned it over,” said Simpson. “We went back and chased it, got a piece of it, got the ball to (Jacob) Sutton (two points and a block) and got the ball back. They (Fredericktown) could have gotten a layup out of it very easily, but we busted our butts and got the ball back just because the kids wanted it so bad. It’s a battle out there and those kids want to win the battle.”
The Freddies outrebounded the Trojans 31-21, but they could not get the ball in the hoop consistently. Part of that was due to some excellent defensive play by the Trojans. Despite that, the Trojans found themselves down 22-19 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.