By Bill Bray
Central Catholic (14-2, 9-1) rated #2 in the State in Division I invaded the “Purple Pit” Monday night to one of the biggest, noisiest crowds that the Pit has seen since moving from the school’s old venue last season. It was a crowd that left in excitement as the Lady Giants (16-2, 8-2) prevailed over the Irish 62-49 in a game that was all about Fremont’s Destiny, Robinson that is.
Robinson led her team on both ends of the court as the junior scored a career high 28 points during the contest. She calmly sank eight straight fourth quarter free throws when Ross needed them most to pull away from a beaten down, dragging bunch of Irish.
The first quarter was like an old-time heavy weight fight as the Irish scored two 3-pointers in transition and that was something coach Juan Vela didn’t want to see. “After they made those threes in their transition offense, I called a time out reminding our girls that that type of thing couldn’t happen.” The girls heeded Vela’s call because after that first period time out, the Irish connected for only two 3-point shots the remainder of the game. The half ended with Ross up by a single point at 34-33.
The third period began and both defenses were battling as seen when looking at the scoresheets. Ross was only allowed 10 points and Central Catholic could only muster eight points in the third eight-minute session. It was Robinson who scored all 10 of Fremont’s points as the third period ended with Ross up 44-41.
But during the third period of play, the Irish began making mental mistakes. It was in large part due to the Little Giant defense who was carrying out their mission. ““We made them uncomfortable,” Vela said. “We took some things away that they consistently won with. When you are playing a certain way and winning that way, then someone comes along and takes it away from you, your team must change things up and I don’t think their girls handled it very well.”
Robinson, along with her impressive point total, ended up guarding Central Catholic’s star guard Corniya Clay. “That wasn’t the original plan,” Robinson said. “But when I guarded her, I knew that she liked to take off left, every time she had the ball. Knowing that, I forced her to her right and it threw her timing off.”
It obviously did throw the Irish star off. In the first game between the two teams, Clay scored 19 points and made 12 of those points in the final eight minutes of that game. Monday night Clay scored two points in the fourth quarter, as Robinson’s defense almost completely shut her down.
Ross held Central Catholic to eight points during the final period while they pulled away with 18 points scored. It was Robinson’s eight straight free throws and three buckets and two foul shots from Holmes that sealed the deal and moved Ross on to 16-2 and 9-1 in TRAC play.
The Giants are on the road Thursday night when they travel to Findlay to take on the always tough Lady Trojans. Fremont was a 59-47 winner over the Trojans at the Purple Pit earlier this season.
SIDE NOTES: Fremont Ross had not beaten Central Catholic since a District semi-final game during the 1994-95 basketball season. Ross was a 46-45 winner that night and was led in scoring by Dawn Zerman with 20 points. Fast forward to January 23, 2023. Toledo Central Catholic was on a 24-game TRAC win streak and had reeled off 14 straight wins this season before Monday night’s loss to OUR LITTLE GIANTS!