The change in subjects turned Shane Osborne’s miserable frown into a hopeful grin, signaling only slightly the stark difference between how he started and how he finished Friday.
“Oh, I had a bad first half,” Osborne said.
Oh, it ended so much better and helped Jeff Davis take a 58-42 victory over Robert E. Lee in the Class 6A, Area 6 semifinals.
Osborne’s gory first half featured 1-for-10 shooting and just three points. His second? Add 21 points and 7-of-10 from the floor.
“We told him to keep shooting,” fellow guard Desmond Deramus said. “What he did that first half, it’s not usual. He doesn’t miss too many.
“In the second half, he couldn’t miss.”
Osborne drained one 3-pointer and pumped his fists as the teams went into a timeout. There was another 3 where he clapped four times and let out an emphatic scream.
And he did it at key times. Osborne had eight points in a 17-1 fourth-quarter run that snapped a 34-34 tie.
His reverse layup started it. His 3 ended it. Whoa.
“Shane hit a couple of big shots for us in the second half,” JD coach Terry Posey said. “His teammates did tell him (at halftime), ‘If you’re open, keep shooting it.'”
Osborne wasn’t alone for the Vols (19-7), who will play G.W. Carver, the host team, in Monday’s finals.
Deramus, a point guard, had 10 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Joseph Kelly also had 10 points and never left the game. “He’s a tired puppy right now,” Posey said.
“I just had to keep working, working hard, and I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Osborne said. “I need my teammates for whatever I do.”
Ken’darrius Hamilton led Lee (13-14) with 15 points.
G.W. Carver 98, Sidney Lanier 36
Brandon Austin had 22 points, Caleb Provitt 12, Demetrius Houston 11 and Brandon Murphy 10 for the Wolverines (20-4), who sealed a 13th straight 20-win season.
Junior Laron Sawyer led Lanier (4-21) with 10 points.
The Poets ended their worst season in at least a half-century. Since the 1961-62 season, Lanier’s worst mark was 5-21 in 2001-02, the year after the Poets won their last state championship.
From the first AHSAA state tournament in 1923 through 1961, Lanier made the state tournament 24 times.