Powerful Osceola fights off stubborn West Jeff
It was not an easy day for Osceola High.
The Kissimmee, Florida defending Class 9A state champions arrived in the wee hours to the New Orleans area and played without six-foot-nine junior Omar Payne, who missed the contest for disciplinary reasons against West Jefferson in the opening round of the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic.
For three quarters, the underdog Buccaneers took the fight to the taller Kowboys, the second-seed in the event. When it mattered most, Osceola turned up the heat, controlled the fourth quarter and defeated the stubborn Bucs 65-57 at the Alario Center Wednesday evening.
Junior Jaduhkiss Soto picked up the slack, scoring 26 points and pulling down 10 rebounds to pace the Kowboys while Josh Marte had 18 points, including four 3-pointers to go with five rebounds.
Osceola (12-2) trailed 2-0 but went on a 6-0 run to take the lead and the Kowboys led 17-11 after one quarter. Isaiah Palermo had six points to lead Osceola in the quarter.
The Kowboys went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter to stretch the lead to 28-16 but the Buccaneers closed the half on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 30-25 at halftime. Soto had 13 points in the half, including nine for the quarter.
West Jefferson (6-12) actually took the lead in the third quarter as the lead changed hands four times. The Buccaneers rallied to tie the game 45-45 going to the decisive final quarter.
West Jeff had three players with 13 points each, including Warren Jones, Jonathan Powell and Eric Brignac, who added eight rebounds.
Osceola advances to face Landry-Walker Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Osceola, FL 17 13 15 20 65
West Jeff 11 14 20 12 57
Osceola—Jaduhkiss Soto 26, Josh Marte 18, Isaiah Palermo 7, Jeremiah Palermo 6, Armani Thomas 4, Orlando Martinez 2, Darian Espinal 2
West Jeff—Eric Brignac 13, Jonathan Powell 13, Warren Jones 13, Dajour Lloyd 10, Kenny Etienne 4, Antonio Wells 2
Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Results, Schedule
Karr 50, Scotlandville 46
Osceola (FL) 65, West Jefferson 57
Lincoln (NY) 78, Archbishop Hannan 36
Loranger 48, Warren Easton 33
Kenwood (IL) 60, Salmen 47
John Curtis Christian 53, New Iberia 13
McKinley 43, Madison Prep 40
South Terrebonne 50, St. Thomas Aquinas 45
Cabrini 54, Hahnville 44
Thibodaux 66, Zachary 62
South Lafourche 90, Destrehan 16
Dominican 35, Helen Cox 32
Karr 44, West St. John 25
Ben Franklin 37, Cohen 30
Riverside 57, Christ Episcopal 29
East Jefferson 41, Archbishop Chapelle 37
Terrebonne 49, Higgins 26
Walker 49, St. Katharine Drexel 30
Mount Carmel 66, M.L. King Charter 33
Area Prep Basketball Schedule for Thursday, Jan. 4
Lincoln (NY) vs. Sophie B. Wright, 4 p.m. (Main Court)
Landry-Walker vs. Osceola, (FL), 5:30 p.m. (Main Court)
University vs. Riverside, 7 p.m. (Main Court)
Helen Cox vs. Karr, 8:30 p.m. (Main Court)
Madison Prep vs. Scotlandville, 4 p.m. (Red Court)
Archbishop Hannan vs. Jehovah-Jireh, 8:30 p.m. (Red Court)
Country Day vs. West Jefferson, 4 p.m. (Blue Court)
Dunham vs. Covington, 8:30 p.m. (Blue Court)
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…