The lead lasted for 20 seconds. And then it was gone … long gone.
Ross High School’s girls basketball team was overmatched in its Division II sectional opener against Chaminade Julienne on Saturday afternoon at Lebanon, and the 57-27 score reflected that.
“You dig a hole in the first eight minutes that you cannot dig out of, and then your heads are down. It’s been our nemesis all year,” Rams coach Rodney Parrett said. “You can’t let them jump out and then try to dig back, not even on bad teams, let alone teams of this caliber.”
CJ’s defensive pressure flustered Ross at practically every turn. The Rams scored the first points on a Dakota Snyder basket 45 seconds into the game. Nine-plus minutes later, they were down 29-3.
DIVISION II SECTIONAL
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The two leading scorers for 14th-seeded Ross (4-18) were the team’s only two seniors. Olivia Chaney and Julia Nunn collected 10 and 6 points, respectively. Freshman Sydney Shaw contributed 4 points and 11 rebounds.
“We hoped for the best, but this is what we ended up with,” Chaney said. “We knew it was going to be a hard game, and we’ve got some people hurt.
“Because they run the ball a lot, we had a set plan. We decided to keep two girls back the whole time, but the plan kind of fell through because we kept moving the ball, the guards would go down low, and then we would have nobody to run back. We were kind of helpless in the beginning, but we kept fighting for it. We didn’t give up.”
Greater Catholic League Coed North Division Player of the Year Dallas Jones paced CJ (10-13), the 8th seed, with 18 points. Teammates Courtney Redd (9) and Staci Greene (8) just missed double digits.
Eagles coach Randy Duff took notice of Ross after the Rams and Badin went down to the wire in a 32-28 BHS win Jan. 24.
“They were a team that really concerned us,” Duff said. “I watched the film of them playing Badin. We’ve played Badin this year, so I know what that’s about.
“Most of the time we think we’re the more athletic team, so I like to let them get out and run a little bit. It’s a style they like to play. We came out today and applied a decent amount of pressure early with a full-court press, and I really thought that just set the tone.”
Parrett said CJ is a higher quality team than its record would suggest.
“Honestly, they’re better than I gave them credit for,” he said. “I was looking at them as Badin. I thought we could play our Badin game and really give them a run. Now I really don’t think we could.
“They’re big and athletic. We knew they were going to push the ball up the floor and run, run, run, and we didn’t stop them. They’re not going to miss layups and uncontested 3s. They’re good.”
The Eagles will play No. 2 seed Bellbrook in a 7:30 p.m. sectional semifinal Wednesday at Lebanon. CJ lost to the Golden Eagles 67-48 on Jan. 4.
“We don’t think we’re the same team now that we were then,” Duff said. “If our kids come ready to play, that’s going to be a great game Wednesday night.”
Parrett said better days are on the horizon for Ross.
“I keep saying that we’re young, but next year, we won’t be young,” he said. “We’re going to work hard in the summer, and the girls I’ve got coming back are chomping at the bit. We’ve had two down years of rebuilding and injuries. Next year is going to be a different year. I really believe that.”
Chaney said the Rams’ lack of winning didn’t diminish the players’ spirit.
“We went through a lot of hardships this year,” she added. “A lot of stuff happened at school. We had injuries, a bunch of people had concussions, but we just kind of stuck together like last year. It was a good senior season with great girls. I’m proud of them. I can’t wait to see what they do next year.”
Chaminade Julienne 22-14-11-10—57
ROSS (4-18): Julia Nunn 3 0 6, Korryne Justice 0 1 1, Olivia Chaney 3 3 10, Dakota Snyder 1 0 2, Kellen Romans 2 0 4, Sydney Shaw 0 4 4. Totals: 9-8-27
CHAMINADE JULIENNE (10-13): Courtney Redd 3 0 9, Jordyn Varise 1 0 2, Annie Weckesser 1 0 3, Dallas Jones 7 4 18, Staci Greene 2 2 8, Nicole Fuchs 3 0 6, Jessica Brunner 1 0 2, Teri McCann 2 1 5, Eve Monaghan 0 4 4. Totals: 20-11-57
3-pointers: R 1 (Chaney), C 6 (Redd 3, Greene 2, Weckesser)
Thurgood Marshall 2-3-5-4—14
THURGOOD MARSHALL (9-12): Amari Scales 0 1 1, Eryonne Payne 0 2 2, Naudia Norvell 1 1 3, Taylor Dunson 2 1 5, Makaela Wilson 1 0 2, Amberly Tucker 0 1 1. Totals: 4-6-14
BELLBROOK (15-8): Maria Mescher 1 0 2, Brooke Tincher 3 0 7, Maren Freudenschuss 1 0 3, Dani Westbrock 1 0 2, Cassidy Hofacker 2 1 5, Bekah Vine 3 2 8, Kayla Paul 4 2 10, Olivia Greathouse 4 1 9, Brooklynn Hall 3 0 7, Siera Ferguson 3 0 6. Totals: 25-6-59
3-pointers: B 3 (Tincher, Freudenschuss, Hall)