FREMONT – The Lady Giants got off to a slow start Monday night, but they made up for it with a strong finish.
Ross battled in a back-and-forth fourth quarter against Oregon Clay and trailed with less than two minutes to play, but the Lady Giants never lost their cool under pressure and came back for a 39-36 win over the Eagles.
“I don’t think they’re scared to lose a game,” Ross coach Juan Vela said. “They want to make plays, they’re aggressive and that’s the way I want them to play. I never want them to feel timid about the game – it’s just a game. I think they did a good job just playing the game.”
Clay took a 34-32 lead with just over 90 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, but with 1:15 remaining Brooklyn Baptista found big sister Olivia open for a go-ahead 3-pointer.
Clay, however, retook the lead with a pair of free throws with 56 seconds to go. But the Baptista sisters each hit a pair of free throws in the last minute to give the Lady Giants the lead and the win on Senior Night.
The victory salvaged what had been a cold-shooting night for both Baptistas and the rest of the Lady Giants.
Ross missed its first five shots of the night and trailed 11-6 after the first quarter. Ross got itself going in the second quarter, thanks to an increase in defensive intensity which transitioned into more scoring on offense and a 21-18 halftime lead.
“In the second quarter, we were getting stops,” Vela said. “It started on defense and then we started penetrating the zone, Brooklyn had a couple where she penetrated and kick out for Olivia, we moved the ball, four or five passes, got good shots. But when we make one or two passes, (then) shot, it’s not very good. We need to get out of that funk there.”
The third quarter saw Clay adjust to Ross’ 2-2-1 halfcourt press, which combined with another cold spell from Ross shooters, gave Clay a 1-point lead heading into the fourth.
The Lady Giants ended the night making just 9-of-36 field goal attempts (25 percent), including a 5-21 mark from 3-point range.
“I think we were settling for the perimeter shots,” Vela said. “I don’t think our post players did a good job moving inside the paint, moving those (defending) girls out. And we didn’t penetrate very well against the zone.”
Olivia Baptista finished with a game-high 11 points with four steals while Brooklyn Baptista added 10 points.
The Lady Giants improve to 10-9 overall and 4-8 in the TRAC. Ross hosts Notre Dame Thursday at 7:30.
Fremont Ross 39, Oregon Clay 36
OC| 11—7—10—8 36
FR| 6—15—6—12 39
OREGON CLAY (36)
Faith Johnson 5; Kennedy Slovak 5; Tiffany Stevens 12; Brianna Pawlaczyk 1; Olivia Henneman-Dallape 5; Alivia Rew 5; Anna Rew 3. Totals, 8 3 11-21 36.
FREMONT ROSS (39)
Brooklyn Baptista 10; Olivia Baptista 11; Kennedy Bohannan 3; Molly Mies 5; Rachel Gore 4; Mikeaya McLaurin 5; Marissa Overmyer 1. Totals, 4 5 16-23 39.
Fremont Ross 43, Oregon Clay 40
OC| 13—13—3—11 40
FR| 11—12—10—10 43
OREGON CLAY (40)
Cannon 1, Payeff 4, Cathers 4, Pryzbylski 5, Tabler 9, Coughlin 2, Takes 15.
FREMONT ROSS (43)
Sarah Widman 6, Rebecca Holland 1, Aries Freeman 1, Hannah Sheidler, Jakaia Harper-Horn 2, MaKenna Englund 14.
Oregon Clay 42, Fremont Ross 17
OC| 10—13—14—5 42
FR| 7—8—2—0 17
OREGON CLAY (42)
Carr 5, Coughlin 8, Brady 4, Beltran 1, Kirian 2, Rowe 2, Madrid 6, Payeff 9, Cannon 5.
FREMONT ROSS (17)
Aleah Whaley 4, Faith Beaver 1, Jeria Walton 2, Heather Szymanowski 10.