ROSS TWP. — Ben Buehner got his much-awaited first win as the head coach of the Ross High girls basketball program.
It took a valiant effort by the host Rams to pull off a pretty substantial comeback against the Northwest Knights in a 37-34 victory on Saturday afternoon.
“I feel good for the girls,” Buehner said. “We’ve been working so hard, and hopefully this will validate everything we’ve been doing. We’ve been working on building confidence, believing in each other and believing in the team.”
Ross fell behind early in this contest, but the Knights began to pull away even further in the second quarter. Northwest senior point guard Michaela Green was red hot in the first half, scoring 14 and shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field, with two free throws.
Ross didn’t help themselves shooting 43 percent from the free throw line and 10 percent from the field in the first two quarters.
Northwest took a 23-11 lead into the half.
“The first half we weren’t there offensively or defensively,” Buehner said. “We didn’t do anything different (in the second half), just locked in and kept our focus.”
The Rams came out of the second half with new life, applying lots of pressure on defense — holding the Knights scoreless for the first 3 minutes of the fourth quarter. Ross junior Veronica Allen capitalized during this span by scoring 5 of her 6 points in those three minutes.
Even though the Rams struggled from the charity stripe, it was clutch free throw shooting by senior point guard Brooklyn Breaker that iced the victory for Ross.
“It feels good to get out first dub, we’ve been working hard,” Breaker said. “It’s tough taking all these losses and still showing up to practice thinking we’re going to win a game, but every game we lose.”
Green’s hot shooting in the first half went cold in the last two quarters as she went scoreless, and only attempted one field goal.
Northwest coach Denise Fairbanks would have liked to see her point guard be much more aggressive.
“Being more aggressive, stepping up and taking a shot with confidence, knowing that she’s a leader,” Fairbanks said.
Northwest leaves this game still searching for their first win on the season.
“Building our chemistry is important, my team has all played JV, so nobody is experienced with the varsity level,” Fairbanks said. “I’m just rebuilding, pushing, and finding different strategies each day.”
Northwest (0-8, 0-4 SWOC) will play at Talawanda on Jan. 4, tipoff at 2:30 p.m.
Ross (1-10, 1-4 SWOC) will visit Hamilton on Dec. 30, a 7:15 p.m. tip.