It’s been a long season for the Ross School girls basketball team, but a brighter future may be in sight and as head coach Don Williams said on Friday, the next great star might be just a continent away.
“We have players from Japan, Russia, Sweden, China, Korea, Haiti and Africa,” Williams said before his team’s 40-16 loss to Pierson-Bridgehampton on Friday, which dropped the Lady Cosmos to 0-7 in League VII play. “We have a lot of freshmen, so right now we’re just paying our dues.”
Abby Ruiz led the Lady Whalers with 10 points while Sydnee McKie-Senior scored eight and Bridget Canavan had five. The Lady Whalers came back on Tuesday and picked up a 47-27 road victory over Smithtown Christian to improve their league record to 5-3 with just four games remaining in the regular season.
Canavan led Pierson against Smithtown Christian with 13 points while Mckie-Senior scored 11. Next up for the Lady Whalers is a big game tomorrow, January 25, at home at 4:30 p.m. against Port Jefferson followed by a road game at Shelter Island on January 29.
Ross, which was led by Asako Saito’s six points against Pierson, will host Southold-Greenport tomorrow, January 25, also at 4:30 p.m.
Both teams started Friday’s game shorthanded with the Lady Whalers depleted by sickness and injury. Head coach Kevin Barron said senior guard Emily Hinz was out with an injured thumb and freshman Erica Selyukova was out with a sprained ankle. Junior defensive stopper Kasey Gilbride and senior Julia Schiavoni were both home sick, Barron said.
Ross was without its leading scorer, Gabby Ment, and several other players who were on deadline for a school project, according to Williams, who spoke before Friday’s game with excitement about the future of the program, even as his team struggles through a winless season.
“We stopped playing December 19 and didn’t get back until January 7,” said Williams, adding that most of the girls travel to their homes across the world for the holiday break. “If we want to win, we need to keep playing during that time, we need to be committed. But it’s hard.”
The game was predictably lopsided right from the start with Pierson quickly jumping out to a 15-0 lead before Ross even got on the board. As has been the case all year, Pierson’s stifling full-court defense shined and the first field goal from the Lady Cosmos came with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter. By halftime, the Lady Whalers led 25-3 and by the end of the game had gotten scoring from every player on the team.
“We just have to keep working and learning,” said Williams, who is in his first year as a varsity head coach. “And hopefully we’ll get there.”