FREMONT – With some momentum and a jam-packed Purple Pit on its feet and loud, the Little Giants showed what they’re capable of Saturday in the third quarter against arch-rival Sandusky.
But in the fourth quarter the Little Giants showed their also capable of turnovers in bunches and a dearth of second-chance points, combined with timely shooting by the Blue Streaks left Ross with a 75-62 loss to its rival.
“Second shots, I thought we could have gotten a lot of them and we didn’t until late,” Ross coach John Cahill said. “They’re playing guards in the post and they’re fighting and winning. …When push comes to shove, I feel like the tougher, more aggressive team usually wins and they were the tougher team tonight and that comes back to me. I’m not getting us to that point.”
Sandusky took a double-digit lead into the second half and the Blue Streaks grew the lead to as many as 15 nearly the midpoint of the quarter.
That’s when Ross put together one of its best stretches of the season.
Six-foot-6 junior Jaevon Martin kicked things off with back-to-back buckets from the post then Bryce Root hit a pair of free throws. Jabryis Heidelburg then drove to the basket to put Ross within 10. Moments later, Heidelburg found Bryce Root for a 3-pointer. A little more than half a minute later Bryce McKinstry scored on a hook from the post and later Root hit another 3-pointer to bring Ross back to four points with 40 seconds to play to cap off a 13-3 run.
“Bryce Root was factor he got some good looks and had a big third quarter,” Cahill said. “They did a job in the fourth shutting him out. And Jaevon got some baskets.”
Sandusky led by six entering the fourth quarter and Ross came as close as four early in the period before the Blue Streaks put together a run of their own, outscoring the Little Giants 14-2 in less than three minutes. Sandusky’s run was aided, in part, by three consecutive Ross turnovers, all leading to baskets, inside a 30-second span.
“Sometimes we get discombobulated just with the game, we get out of what we’re trying to do. That’s bene a challenge all year,” Cahill said. “…We talked at the beginning of the season, we thought rebounding and turnovers were going to dictate a lot of our success or failure and most nights we’ve lost both, the turnover battle and the rebounding battle.”
Root led the Little Giants with 19 points and McKinstry pulled down 14 rebounds but Martin, who hadn’t played organized basketball since sixth-grade before this season, showed how high his ceiling can be as he broke out for a career-high 17 points, 15 coming in the second half, along with seven boards.
“We didn’t really get to know him until the school year started and he has – on the court and off the court – made tremendous strides,” Cahill said of Martin. “I’m really proud of him across the board. There are times he does things because he just doesn’t know, because he’s learning, but I feel like every game he’s getting a little better and a little better. He’s a bright spot for us.”
The loss drops the Little Giants to 2-12 overall for the season. Ross returns to action Tuesday when the Little Giants travel to Springfield.
Sandusky 75, Fremont Ross 62
Jayden Greene 16; Tahj Staveskie 19; Dylon Jones 20; Ja’Torry Johnson 2; Ra’Landes Johnson 2; Jon’Tres Johnson 4; William Simpson 6; Noah Caston 6.
FREMONT ROSS (62)
LaBronze Barnett 1; Hayden Lehmann 3; Jabryis Heidelburg 10; Ben Gedeon 3; Bryce Root 19; Bryce McKinstry 9; Jaevon Martin 17.
Sandusky 64, Fremont Ross 49
Aaron 15; Roldon 6; Grandberry 4; Castile 2; Alexander 7; Henry 16; Redding 12; Dorset 2.
FREMONT ROSS (49)
Isaac Fox 5; Tarian Bowling 3; Javien Burel 3; Mickey Lather 19; Jonathan Szymanowski 1; Josh Rhea 2; Tremaine Sims 6; Spencer Price 2; Jared Adkins 6; Jason Burling 2.
Sandusky 42, Fremont Ross 36
Johnson 9; Scott 9; Franklin 3; Flecter 4; Pisarsky 6; Taylor 4; Talley 7.
FREMONT ROSS (36)
Kahji Pickins 14; Jaedyn Bulger 10; Kalijah Alejandro 3; Darrian Ayers 6; Kurt Harrison 3.