Gar-Field boys put clamps on Osbourn Park

DALE CITY — Through the first four minutes of the second quarter on Friday night, Gar-Field hit on five of seven field goal attempts. During that same span, Osbourn Park hadn’t even gotten a shot off.

The benefits of a tight defense are clear: Not only does it limit the other team’s chances, it often leads to turnovers, which leads to easy opportunities.

The Indians proved that old adage about the best offense being a good defense in their 82-36 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

A better defensive effort at the outset of the second quarter set the tone for the rest of the game. After the first quarter produced no definitive results — Gar-Field led 11-10 — the Indians turned up the defensive heat.

Although Osbourn Park had committed six turnovers in the first quarter, as many as they did in the second, the Indian defense allowed just one field goal on six attempts. That was a far better result than the 4-for-9 shooting OP achieved in the first.

Gar-Field also had better success in converting on the turnovers. The Indians had just three layups in the first quarter, but had reached that total on their first three scores in the second.

“We finally started executing defensively,” said Indians coach Andy Gray. “There were a lot of guys out of position … All five kids have to do their job. We had situations where three kids would do the right thing, and two kids wouldn’t.”

Once everyone was on the same page, there was little doubt about the outcome. Gar-Field outscored OP 18-4 in the second quarter alone, and held the Yellow Jackets without a score through the first two minutes of the third quarter. While that may not be a lot of time, it was enough for the Indians to score eight points, and increase their lead to 37-14.

Osbourn Park managed to rebound a bit in the third, scoring 13 points, but that wasn’t enough to keep up with the host Indians, who recorded 24 points in the period.

Chris Vann led all scorers, tallying 24 points on the night. Greg Gordon wasn’t far behind with 18. OP’s Kevin Duke scored all of his team-high 10 points in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets (2-1) led through much of the game’s first four minutes. Gar-Field’s Chris Doss hit on one of two free throws to give the Indians (3-1) a one-point advantage at 7-6.

Kirsten McCane got things rolling in the second quarter for the Indians, scoring on a layup to push the lead to three at 13-10. Michael Askew, Vann, and Gordon all added field goals to increase the lead to eight. In all, Gar-Field had put together a 10-2 run before an injury timeout halfway through the quarter.

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