WILMINGTON — With hot starts to the first and second quarters, the Ross Rams opened its season with a 59-46 victory at Wilmington, spoiling Jermaine Isaac’s home debut as Hurricane head coach.
The Rams started the game on an 8-2 run and then went on a 9-2 run to start the second quarter to build a 33-17 advantage, its largest of the half. By that point, Ross had buried eight from behind the arc.
“They shoot the ball really well. You saw that tonight,” Isaac said. “We told our guys, if we let them get hot from three and not rebound, they will make it a game.”
Collin Barker stopped the bleeding with three of his 11 points. That shot at the 5:40 mark of the second quarter also was the last field goal of the half for either side. Barker knocked down three of Wilmington’s seven treys on the evening.
The ‘Cane settled down to play Ross even in the third quarter. The Rams led by as much as 59-41 late in the fourth quarter, but Wilmington scored the last five points of the game to set the final margin.
“We made some adjustments on how we were guarding them on the perimeter,” Isaac said. “It worked out better. They cooled off a little bit.
“Our guys battled and didn’t quit.”
Kellen Baltazar led the Cane (1-1) with 13 points, seven of them in the first quarter.
Ross Ram Aidan Brown came off the bench to tie Baltazar with game-high scoring honors. Teammate Tyler Hood joined him in double-figures with 10 while Jeff Valentine and Nathan Polk just missed with nine each. Valentine had seven in the opening period.
November 30, 2021
@Fred Summers Court
Ross 59 Wilmington 46
(59) ROSS (fg-ft-tp) Hood 3-2-10, Jackson 1-1-3, Reid 2-1-7, Valentine 4-1-9, Polk 4-0-9, DeSalvo Perez 3-1-8, Brown 5-0-13. TOTALS 22-6-59. 3-point goals: 9 (Brown 3, Hood 2, Reid 2, Polk, DeSalvo Perez). FTM-FTA 6-14, 43 percent.
(46) WILMINGTON (fg-ft-tp) Blessing 2-0-6, Brown 1-0-3, Baltazar 6-0-13, Bernhardt 3-3-9, Barker 4-3-11, Warix 0-0-0, Camp 0-0-0, Griffith 2-0-4. TOTALS 18-3-46. 3-point goals: 7 (Barker 3, Blessing 2, Baltazar, Brown). FTM-FTA 3-6, 50 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.