Jeremy Osborne kneels in front of the Tolton bench

Tolton basketball coach Jeremy Osborne kneels in front of his team’s bench during a 2016 game in Columbia. The Trailblazers will face Priory in their first game of the 2019-20 season.

The date is Dec. 4, 2018, and Tolton boys basketball has just defeated Priory High School in a dominant 82-41 victory. Now, exactly one year later, the Trailblazers will enter the Rebels’ home court to face Priory once again.

“Last year we shot the ball pretty well and kind of put it all together,” coach Jeremy Osborne said. “But that’s just one game. We’re definitely expecting a competitive game from them.”

So far, the Trailblazers have only participated in team scrimmages and a small jamboree, making the Rebels Tolton’s first regular season opponent. After months of daily practices, workouts and film sessions, it’s clear the Trailblazers are eager to compete.

“It’ll be good to see different competition,” Osborne said. “The first game of the year is always a good thing for our guys. There’s going to be a lot of adrenaline going, and our guys are going to be ready to go.”

Despite the blowout win against Priory last year, Osborne was quick to take as many notes as possible in order to prepare his team for this year’s outing.

In last year’s game, Osborne noticed that Priory often utilized a zone defense against Tolton. To combat this, he spent the past week working with his players on being patient both offensively and defensively.

“We’re going to have to be ready to play and do our job, execute the things we need to execute to put ourselves in the position to get a win,” Osborne said.

Other strategies Osborne has credited in his preparation for the game include working around the Rebels’ size advantage and shutting down Priory senior point guard Charlie Ferrick.

Regardless of the Priory-specific game strategies that Osborne and the Trailblazers have developed the past week, Tolton’s mindset leading up to the game has remained consistent.

“Our approach isn’t any different,” Osborne said. “The things that we may do in certain games or situations may be different, but we’ve approached this game just like we would any other game.”

Tolton will take on the Rebels at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Priory Catholic High School in Creve Coeur.

  • Sports reporter, fall 2019, studying sports journalism. Reach me at emmahmoloney@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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