Clutch wins in the Class 6 Region B championships sent the Potomac High boys and Osbourn Park girls basketball teams to the regional championships last week. Both won games on Wednesday night to advance to the state finals.
The Panthers (12-0) downed Patriot 71-56 on Feb. 11 in Haymarket, while the Yellow Jackets (13-1) slipped past Colgan 50-49 the same afternoon.
Potomac then beat Landstown 79-73 in Wednesday’s boys semifinals. Meanwhile, the OP girls beat Cosby in the girls semis 48-42.
Both teams will plan in the state championships this Saturday, Feb. 20.
Potomac won Class 5 boys state titles in 2014 and 2016 under coach Keith Honore and is hopeful of their first in Class 6.
“We’ve gotten this far, and we’re as good as anyone here,” said Honore said before the Feb. 17 game. “This team has put themselves in position to accomplish something special.”
Potomac has a habit of frustrating good teams. Against Patriot, the Panthers blasted to a 21-5 first quarter lead, and rolled from there.
“A goal of ours is to start fast. If we can get you down early, we’re hard to come back against,” said Honore.
Kyle Honore, the coach’s son, and Tyrell Harris each had 16 points. Patriot’s Trey Nelson added 22 points.
Honore said it was unfortunate that pandemic prevented the public from witnessing the showdown.
“It was a good win. [Patriot Coach] Sherman [Rivers] and his staff have built that into one of the top programs in the region. It was a shame we could not have fans there,” he said. “It was a game the community was anticipating for a long time.”
Rivers, who played and coached at Potomac, understands Potomac’s tradition of excellence.
“Once they got the lead it was going to be a tall order to come back against an experienced and talented group like that,” said Rivers. “We battled but were beaten by a better team. I wasn’t surprised they performed the way they did.”
Patriot, which opened in 2011, is now 0-8 against Potomac. This was their first matchup since 2016.
OP girls also move on
A year after losing to Colgan in the region championship, the Osbourn Park girls triumphed this year by edging the Sharks 50-49. Alex Harju led the Yellow Jackets with 21, while Alyssa led Colgan with 22.
The game was tied 24-24 at halftime. Colgan (13-3) burst in front by six in the third and led 40-39 headed into the fourth.
OP had won nine in a row heading into Wednesday night's win in the state semi-finals at Cosby.