MILBURY – Though easy would not be an accurate way to describe the 2018-19 boys basketball season, the Little Giants weren’t about to let the campaign end with a fight.
Though Ross entered the fourth quarter of its sectional tournament opener against Perrysburg trailing by 11 points, Ross’ embattled seniors had one last run in them, trimming the deficit down to six with just under two minutes to play.
But the Little Giants came no closer, as Perrysburg held on for the 49-39 victory, bringing with it the end of Ross’ season.
“It always hurts,” coach John Cahill said. “I felt like we had played our best half last game and had a couple decent practices, so I was really hoping to put some good basketball together. I felt like we had a good matchup and a good chance to win. We, as a collective group, didn’t perform well tonight. We didn’t coach well, we didn’t play well.
The Little Giants started off on the right foot, leading after the first quarter and scoring the first bucket of the second to take a 15-11 lead. Then Perrysburg went on a 12-0 run over the next six minutes to take command. Though Ross entered the fourth quarter trailing 40-29, the Little Giants made one last run to extend their season.
Jabryis Heidelburg scored five points in the period, with Hayden Lehmann knocking down a 3-pointer and Bryce McKinstry adding a bucket to put Ross on a 10-5 run to climb with six points with 1:50 remaining.
But Ross never scored again.
“We battled and when we got it down to that point they hit a three that kind of hit the front of the rim, hit the backboard, hung on the rim and went in” Cahill said. “To our credit, our guys kept competing and battling, but sometimes it’s just not your night.”
The Little Giants’ season ends with a 5-18 overall record and brings the end of the careers of Lehmann (13 points), Heidelburg (10), McKinstry, Bryce Root and Ethan Chumley.
“I care a lot about our seniors, they’re good kids and they’ll always be my first senior group here,” Cahill said. “I hate that it ends like this. I’d like to go back and start it over, but I’m still bitter about the ‘87 district game I didn’t play well in and lost, so you don’t get a do-over, but we gave it our best shot.”
Perrysburg 49, Fremont Ross 39
FR| 13—4—12—10 39
PB| 11—12—17—9 49
FREMONT ROSS (39)
Ethan Chumley 3, Hayden Lehmann 13, Jabryis Heidelburg 10, Ben Gedeon 3, Bryce Root 2, Bryce McKinstry 4, Jaevon Martin 4
Boros 12, Paule 8, Miller 11, Hoster 1, Sizemore 17.
Ross final record: 5-18 overall