FREMONT – The Fremont Ross girls basketball team isn’t interested in labels. It doesn’t matter if the Lady Giants have to play pretty or ugly, quick-paced or plodding, pound it in the post or shooting from the outside.
The only thing that matters is the bottom line. Did the Lady Giants win or not?
With that viewpoint in mind, no matter the number of turnovers Ross committed or how many shots the opponent missed, Monday’s 46-42 victory over Marion Harding was a thing of beauty.
“If I win every ugly game from here on out, I’ll take it,” coach Juan Vela said.
“Call it stealing it, call it earned, call it whatever you want. It’s a W and at the end of the day that is all I care about.”
Early on, Ross’ offense was clicking. The Lady Giants made 12-of-22 field goal attempts in the first half (54 percent), including a 7-for-12-mark from 3-point range (58 percent). Brooklyn Baptista and Olivia Baptista combined for three long-range bombs in the last minute of the first half to give Ross the 32-25 lead at halftime.
While Ross made its shots early on, getting those shots was problematic at times. The Lady Giants turned the ball over 11 times in the first half. Then in the second half, the points were harder to come by, but the turnovers continued.
Ross made just three of 12 shots in the third quarter with five more turnovers, though Marion Harding struggled just as much from the field, making only 5-of-14 shots as the Lady Giants still held a slim lead entering the fourth quarter, 38-36.
“To me, it’s a typical basketball game in that you have to stay focused for four quarters,” Vela said. “We played, the ball went in and life is great, sun shining. But basketball is not always that way. The second half, they were denying our two best scorers and we had to figure some things out.”
Marion Harding took the lead just past the halfway mark of the fourth quarter as Ross totaled 21 turnovers.
“That’s one thing we have been striving to work on all year is handling the basketball,” Vela said. “A lot of times we throw the basketball away and if we want to be a really good team we have to stop that.”
With less than two minutes remaining, Jasannah Sabiers tied the game with a hook shot in the post. A minute later Sabiers assisted on a basket by Brooklyn Baptista to take the lead. Olivia Baptista then hit a pair of free throws with 11.3 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game and ice it away.
Ross attempted just six shots in the fourth quarter, making three of them while the Presidents were 3-for-14 in the fourth and 16-48 for the night.
“I would say they probably won the second half, except for the last two minutes and, to me, that’s what matters,” Vela said. “You play for four quarters. If we never miss shots and if we won every quarter that would be a perfect game and there is no such thing as a perfect game. The girls came together in the last minute and we won the game.”
Brooklyn Baptista led Ross with 15 points and four assists while Olivia Baptista had 14 points.
The Lady Giants improve to 8-3 overall and will host Whitmer Friday at 6 p.m. as the first game of a boys-girls varsity doubleheader.
Fremont Ross 46, Marion Harding 42
MH| 16—9—11—6 42
FR| 15—17—6—8 46
MARION HARDING (42)
Jackson 2; Mauk 10; Freeman 2; Tinnerello2; Flock 13; Douglas 13.
FREMONT ROSS (46)
Brooklyn Baptista 15; Olivia Baptista 14; Molly Mies 7; Rachel Gore 4; Jasannah Sabiers 4; Marissa Overmyer 2.
Marion Harding 47, Fremont Ross 44
MH| 15—10—12—9 47
FR| 5—19—7—13 44
MARION HARDING (47)
Teft 2; Johnson 4; Hays 12; White 6; Green 12; Freeman 4; Horton 4.
FREMONT ROSS (44)
Rebecca Holland 2; Aries Freeman 7; Hannah Sheidler 9; Jakaia Harper-Horn 6; MaKenna Englund 20.
Fremont Ross 34. Marion Harding 21
MH| 3—6—2—10 21
FR| 7—12—9—6 34
MARION HARDING (21)
Broderdorp 3; Damm 8; Hatlay 1; Smith 9.
FREMONT ROSS (34)
Aleah Whaley 5; Alana Smith 7; Heather Szymanowski 19; Jeria Walton 2; Alexis Huff 1.