It’s a shame St. Mary’s doesn’t keep girls basketball statistics, because it would be nice to quantify the dominance of Chantel Osahor.
Luckily, there are snippets of proof.
Take the game against Pinnacle on Jan. 21 at the MLK Basketball Classic. A box score was kept, and this was her line in the 63-43 win: 12 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, four steals, two blocks.
The St. Mary’s senior forward is the most unique player in the state and one of its most talented. Her ability to contribute in such various ways has earned her the Tribune’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.
In her final high school season, Osahor said she played at a higher level than ever before, feeling confident she averaged a double-double.
“I just don’t know if it was points and rebounds or assists and rebounds,” she said.
The Knights were stacked with six Division I-bound players, but Osahor, who is committed to Washington, was the glue.
If teams happened to break St. Mary’s lethal full-court press, she was the one back to snuff out fast-break opportunities. If they tried to throw over the top of it, she would swoop in like a free safety for the steal.
“A lot of players don’t look away when they pass, and I can see where it’s going,” she said.
On offense, the game’s usually-frenetic pace slowed when she grasped the ball, and her ability to shoot, drive or pass from the top of the key had defenses constantly guessing.
It was a storybook ending to Osahor’s career, as the Knights downed Pinnacle, 49-37, in the Division I championship game to finish off a three-peat. But this one wasn’t easy. St. Mary’s trailed by six points at the half before rallying for the victory.
It capped a tremendous four seasons of varsity action, as she went 110-9 in high school and won 69 of her final 70 games.
It was the last hurrah for arguably the most dominant group in the history of Arizona girls basketball. Next year, the five seniors will all scatter to various colleges while Courtney Ekmark returns to St. Mary’s for her senior season.
Osahor is generally very even-keeled, but admitted the end of the dominant era meant more to her than the other titles.
“I actually cried,” she said. “It felt like this was the last time I’m going to play with these girls, and to end it like that was the icing on the cake.”