FREMONT – Almost from the opening tip-off Thursday night, the Lady Giants were a step a behind.
Facing a quick, long and aggressive defense in Toledo Central Catholic, Fremont Ross was always trying to find a way to keep up with the Fighting Irish. Ultimately, the Lady Giants never got comfortable against Central’s full-court, trapping defense while the Irish fell into an early shooting rhythm and never stopped in taking a 68-38 win from the Lady Giants.
“They move the ball well, they’re athletic and quick and they know how to play basketball,” Ross coach Juan Vela said of the Irish. “We were a step slower.
“If we played just as fast as they did, it would have been a tighter game. When a team plays a step faster, you’re not going to win.”
The game remained close in the first quarter, but Central Catholic ended with momentum from hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds to end the first eight minutes holding an 18-9 lead. The Irish carried that momentum into the second quarter, going on a 9-0 run in the first four minutes of the period to open up a 27-9 advantage.
While the Irish shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Lady Giants never found a groove against Central’s swarming, full-court, trapping defense. Ross turned the ball over 12 times in the first half en route to a 35-16 halftime deficit.
“That’s what they do, that’s what they’ve always done,” Vela said. “They play man-to-man, full-court, pressure you, put pressure on the ball, trap the ball, trap the first pass, they do all kinds of things. We need a ball-handler and, without that, you struggle against those kinds of teams.”
The second half was more of the same. Central connected on its first four shots of the third quarter, while Ross was 0-for-4, and the Irish grew their lead to 42-16 early in half.
“To sit and pout or whine about it, I don’t think that’s going to do anything: We have to learn from it and try and get better,” Vela said. “We have to learn how to take care of the ball. We have to move offensively. We have to set screens, we have to do a better job at that and we’re not. We have to get better. We have more games to play.”
Rachel Gore led Ross with 10 points and Mikeaya McLaurin, who took over primary ball-handling duties in the fourth quarter and performed well in the role, added eight points.
“I thought putting Mikeaya in the 1 spot, I thought she handled the pressure all right with her speed and athletic ability,” Vela said. “That was a positive. I think that was the best positive we saw tonight.”
Ross (8-6 overall, 3-5 TRAC) host Findlay Monday at 7:30.
Toledo Central Catholic 68, Fremont Ross 38
CC| 18—17—15—18 68
FR| 9—7—9—11 38
CENTRAL CATHOLIC (68)
Chloe Crawford 16; Kaitlyn Moeller 11; Kate Ellis 10; Angelina Mendieta 8; Maverick Delp 12; Avery Reinhart 4; Macey Madison 2; Teagan Hill 3; Jennifer Pryor 2.
FREMONT ROSS (38)
Brooklyn Baptista 3; Olivia Baptista 5; Molly Mies 4; Rachel Gore 10; Jasannah Sabiers 4; Marissa Overmyer 4; Mikeaya McLaurin 8.
Toledo Central Catholic 48, Fremont Ross 16
CC| 20—10—12—6 48
FR| 4—1—3—8 16
CENTRAL CATHOLIC (48)
Hire 14; Hunt 7; Moody 10; Katafiasz 4; Pryer 6; Harris 2; Wilcox 2; Hunt 3.
FREMONT ROSS (16)
Mekhia Williams 9; Sarah Widman 5; Rebecca Holland 1; Camryn Kidwell 1.
Toledo Central Catholic 51, Fremont Ross 24
CC| 19—11—11—10 51
FR| 5—8—5—6 24
CENTRAL CATHOLIC (51)
Sinsenstein 5; L. Spinizze 10; McCLung 12; Whipple 6; Roscoe 11; Logan 2; Bolton 1; Barnes 4.
FREMONT ROSS (24)
Aleah Whaley 10; Heather Szymanowski 7; Faith Beaver 3; Isabel Vasquez 2; Alexis Huff 2