Midway through the first quarter, Windward’s Charisma Osbourne got knocked out of the air while attacking the basket. Osbourne hit her head hard on the protective padding and had to be helped off the floor.
Just a few minutes later Osbourne gathered herself and scored eight points in the second quarter. The highly touted junior finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks and Windward overcame a bruising first half to defeat Fairfax on the road 72-53.
“Our coach told us that we needed to pick up our effort because in our last game we didn’t have our greatest effort starting off,” Osbourne said. “After that we were all hustling and working together.”
The defending Division I state champions trailed 14-11 in the first quarter but after Osbourne went down, Windward (14-3) used the injury as a rallying point. Senior Sela Kay spearheaded the rally and mad a three pointer late in the first quarter. Kay finished the game with 14 points and Windward never looked back.
“It was definitely a more physical game and so we came out a little less stronger then we were anticipating,” Kay said. “I think in the second half, we picked it up and got used to the physicality. We just had to be a little bit physical back so we could match their intensity.”
After Selena McLurkin hit a three-pointer to end the first half, Windward had seven different players score in the third quarter. McLurkin finished with 10 points and Kaiyah Corona added 10 for Windward.
Fairfax (19-4) had a quick start to the first quarter after shots from Dawnyel Lair and Tricia Delph but the defending LA City Section champions could not keep pace with Windward. Lair scored 17 points, Chassen Gutierrez had 15 points and Delph finished with 10.
“We just couldn’t hit shots the way we were normally used to,” Fairfax coach Charles Harrell said. “We played hard in that first half but the speed at which they play I thought ultimately caught up with us there at the end.”
Written by Ethan Hanson