Quinata quickens pace to lead Hylton past Osbourn

WOODBRIDGE — Defensive stopper Jerome Quinata transformed into an offensive starter for Hylton’s boys basketball team on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs were able to pull away for a 57-49 win over upset-minded Osbourn as Quinata made a critical steal and also scored on a key layup after a steal by Ahmad Brooks. With 10 points in the game, Quinata has reached double figures in consecutive games for the first time this year.

Hylton (11-5) extended its winning streak to five games and has now won 11 of 13. The Eagles, meanwhile, fell to 6-12,

“The game seemed really, really slow,” Quinata, a junior, said of the first three quarters of Tuesday night’s non-district matchup. “It seemed like we just couldn’t get started. Maybe it was because we had just one practice leading up to this game, but for whatever reason, we couldn’t get going.”

Quinata, who usually guards the opponents’ best backcourt scoring threat, came up with a steal off Osbourn’s Robbie Stoltz and then drove for a layup to give Hylton a 45-39 lead. Less than a minute later, with 4:24 to go, his layup off a Brooks steal and outlet pass pushed the lead to 49-39. That basket capped a 12-0 run that enabled Hylton to complete a season sweep of the Eagles.

“We had a little run there, and it was all of our defense and rebounding,” Hylton coach Kevin Brown said. “We got some steals and Jerome Quinata really got out there and created some things.”

The Eagles went ahead by two points with 7:38 left in the game, as reserve center Marcus Belcher scored on a stickback. Belcher, who finished with 10 points in what Osbourn coach Mike Dufrene called the best game of his season, scored his team’s next point, too — but it didn’t come until 3:15 remained.

“We might’ve played the Cardinal District champions, who knows? They’re playing that well right now,” Osbourn coach Mike Dufrene said of Hylton, which is 1-2 in its district but knocked off Potomac for the first time in school history last week. “We have nothing to hang our heads over; we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Hylton started its 12-point run with a layup by Brooks. The Bulldogs took a four-point lead on one trip down the court. Ricky Pinckney followed a missed free throw by Brooks and was fouled on the play. Then Brooks scored after Hylton forced a tie-up off Pinckney’s missed foul shot.

Osbourn was still within 53-45 after a three-pointer by Brandon Oglesby with 1:06 to go, but Hylton guards (and brothers) Lee and Deon Butler put the game away. Lee, a senior, made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch and Deon, a sophomore, converted on both of his attempts.

Stoltz scored a game-high 15 points, including 10 in the first half, for Osbourn. Lee Butler led Hylton with 12.

“I didn’t think we played our best basketball, but you’ve got to give [Osbourn] credit,” Brown said. “They had some guys knocking down jump shots in the first half, and they really battled us inside.”

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