FREMONT – As a team with only one returning letter-winner, it’d be understandable, following its season-opening win over Clyde, for much of Ross’ girls basketball team to think to themselves, ‘This varsity basketball thing isn’t so hard.’
But varsity basketball is rarely easy. And the Lady Giants saw that first-hand as they opened their schedule in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference at home Monday against Whitmer.
Ross scored just one field goal in each of the first two quarters and performed flatly in virtually all aspects of the game while Whitmer, already benefitting from an advantage in size, length and athleticism, contested everything Ross tried to do and coasted to a 45-14 victory.
“The maturity level has to grow,” coach Juan Vela said. “A lot of these girls need to look in the mirror and say ‘Wow, I have a varsity basketball uniform on, and this is what varsity basketball looks like, I need to step up.’
“It starts in practice,” he added. “We’re not the best practice team, but we’re going to become the best practice team.”
Both teams started the night sluggishly, turning the ball over and missing shots that should have been made, with Whitmer leading 7-2 after the first quarter. While Whitmer got its ship turned around, Ross’ remained adrift. The Panthers scored the first 15 points of the second quarter as Ross did not score until less than a minute remained in the period as Ross entered halftime trailing 22-4.
“My message at halftime (was) everybody wants a varsity jersey until it becomes time to do what varsity players do,” Vela said. “And that’s to compete and every possession means something. Every pass means something. Every step you take means something. And how you communicate with your teammates means something. There is whole list of things you have to do, as a varsity player, to compete and that is our job, as coaches, to teach these girls that.”
The Lady Giants (1-2 overall, 0-1 TRAC) will try to up their competitive level Thursday against Toledo Central Catholic at home at 7:30.
WHITMER 45, FREMONT ROSS 14
W| 7—15—15—8 45
FR| 2—2—6—4 14
Fremont Ross (14)
Brooklyn Baptista 4, Mylah Williams 4, Janiah Holmes 4, Hannah Sheidler 2.