Fueled by a smothering defense that held visiting Boston Latin Academy to just two points in the second quarter, the John D. O’Bryant School girls’ basketball team cruised to a 50-22 Boston City League Central victory Wednesday night.
“O’Bryant is known for defense,” Tigers head coach Gertrude Fisher said. “That’s our specialty.”
O’Bryant’s defense has been solid. The Tigers are 5-1 after Wednesday’s matchup, including a win over West Roxbury, 59-8, on Tuesday.
But successful teams do not rely solely on defense, and the Tigers pack a one-two punch with an equally potent offense.
O’Bryant senior Raven Kelsey scored a game-high 20 points Wednesday night and fired up the home crowd with two three-pointers. Senior guard Yonetta Harris finished with nine points and senior guard/forward Saran Kaba added six.
“I think today my seniors, Raven, Saran and Netta, played real well,” Fisher said.
Kelsey, a 5-foot, 8-inch forward/center, scored just six of her 20 points in the first half. She said she did not think she was a big factor in the first 16 minutes.
“Coach talked to me,” Kelsey said. “She was saying I needed to be the leader on the floor and I was supposed to control the points, as far as making sure I’m controlling the boards, so in the second half I knew I had to pick it up.”
O’Bryant jumped out to a 4-0 advantage and never relinquished the lead. After two quarters, the Tigers were up 21-7 and carried the momentum into the second half, outscoring Latin Academy 13-4 to start the third quarter.
The second half domination continued for O’Bryant in the final eight minutes. The Tigers held Latin Academy to just three points in the fourth quarter.
“As a whole I feel like we really played good in the second half,” said Harris, who scored seven of her nine points in the final two quarters.
The Tigers’ next game will be on Friday at Jeremiah E. Burke High School. Despite O’Bryant’s early-season success, coach Fisher said the Tigers are “still progressing.”
“We’ve been working on improving our defense and we’ve been working on running our offense,” she said. “If we can put those two things together, then we’ll be fine.”
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- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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