FREMONT – A prolonged scoring drought against a quality opponent can make winning any game a massive challenge.
A game with two such droughts, however, rarely ends happily.
Though the Fremont Ross boys basketball team remained competitive Friday night against Toledo Central Catholic despite an early cold streak, a second rough stretch to end the third quarter proved too great an obstacle for the Little Giants in a 68-47 loss to the Fighting Irish.
“Tonight stings a little bit because I really felt like we were primed to give a performance that would really make (Central Catholic) battle,” Ross coach John Cahill said. “I thought we competed hard, but by the end of the game none of the starters were in anymore and one of our goals was to make them play all four quarters tonight.”
After trading baskets to a 10-9 start to the game, Central Catholic went on an 11-0 run over a four- minute stretch late in the first quarter to 24-12 lead into the second quarter.
Central built upon its lead early in the second, upping its advantage into the high teens, threatening to blow the game open. But Ross battled back and narrowed the deficit back down to 10 at halftime, 36-26.
Ross came within eight points 90 seconds into the third quarter, but then hit a wall. The Little Giants went scoreless for the rest of the quarter while Central compiled another 11-0 run en route to a 19-point lead entering the fourth quarter, putting the game away.
“We did something we haven’t done in a while, we got careless with the ball there in the third quarter,” Cahill said. “We had a lot of possessions where we didn’t get a shot and turned it over a lot. We’ve been more consistent lately, but we’re still fighting consistency as a whole.”
Sophomore LaBronze Barnett continued his stellar play of late, leading the Little Giants with 15 points. Freshman Anthony Vann added 10.
“He played very, very well again tonight,” Cahill said of Barnett. “He was our one guy that actually got to the foul line tonight. We shot 10 (free throws) and he shot five. He was putting pressure on them to make calls. He’s done a nice job. I think we’re trending in the right direction most nights. The kids are doing better things.”
Having competed a busy stretch of nine games in a three-week stretch, the Little Giants (5-13 overall, 2-9 TRAC), get a chance to catch their breath, with just one game in their next 13 days, that being at Findlay next Friday.
“It’s been an incredibly busy January,” Cahill said. “I think it’ll give us some time to teach and work and maybe fix some of the things we didn’t do very well tonight.”
Toledo Central Catholic 68, Fremont Ross 47
CC| 24—12—16—16 68
FR| 12—14—7—14 47
FREMONT ROSS (47)
LaBronze Barnett 15, Ben Gedeon 3, Jared Adkins 6, Mikey Lather 1, Kurt Harrison 5, Anthony Vann 10, Kaden Holmes7.