Girls Basketball: Montini’s Sara Ross just misses triple double in win
Updated: December 10, 2011 8:28PM
Sara Ross is a sophomore. She just plays like a senior. Most of the time.
Ross, a 5-foot-10 guard, had 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds Saturday to lead No. 9 Montini to a 62-40 victory Saturday over Milwaukee Riverside in the final game of the Chitown Showdown hosted by Young.
Ross helped to ignite a 23-6 run in the second quarter that allowed Montini (8-1) to extend a 13-10 lead.
“We were just trying to run and wear them down,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “I thought we got some easy baskets in transition, and Ross was awesome. She might have had a triple-double. She was good, so I was happy with her.
“She’s an Energizer bunny,” the coach added. “She was really good off the ball. She got a lot of offensive rebounds. She was a beast on the boards, and she created more opportunities for us, which we need. We need all the opportunities we can get.”
Five-foot-4 sophomore guard Brianna Simond scored 24 points to Milwaukee Riverside (1-2), which cut the deficit under 20 points a few times in the second half thanks to some long-range shooting by Alexis McDowell.
Montini’s second-half defensive lapses drew Nichols’ ire on more than a few occasions.
“We have a lot of young kids and I’m hard on them right now because they don’t understand how hard you have to play over the course of a game,” he said. “You take plays off and that’s going to hurt you at the end of the season.
“That’s why I’m going to stay on them about it,” Nichols said. “If they understand it, their talents will take over. It’s just about playing hard all the time and understanding what that means. So we’ll see.”
One player who doesn’t mind her coach getting on her is Ross.
“He just wants what’s best for us,” she said. “He wants us to meet our full potential. Eventually, it’s going to pay off. I’m pretty sure we all know that. I actually like it. I know if I’m not working hard enough, he’ll push me. It will pay off.”
Sophomore Kateri Stone also had 13 points for Montini, which got eight points apiece from freshman Kelsey Bogdan and senior Tianna Brown. Brown is the only senior to see the floor regularly for Montini, which carries the burden of expectations despite its youth.
“There’s expectations, but also some people are not thinking we’ll do as good as last year because of all the seniors, all the Division I kids (that graduated),” Ross said. “But we’re trying to show people that we will be good. We just have to get there first.
“Coach always tells us we have to play hard all the time,” she added. “Everybody’s not quite there yet, but we’re working on it.”