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Rosary opened its Suburban Christian schedule with a 45-37 win at St. Edward on Thursday night, but it certainly didn’t come easy.
The host Green Wave put up a tough battle despite once again being without their two best players. Karly Tate led the Royals with 13 points. Rachel Choice added nine points.
“This is always a tough place to come play,” said Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox. “They played us hard the whole way. The thing I like about how we played was we were more physical than we have been. In some of our previous games we’ve been pushed around a little at the beginning and had to meet the other teams physical play. Tonight we came out and set the tone early.”
A 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Madison Richmond early in the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and gave the Royals the lead for good,14-7. Rosary (4-4, 1-0) still led 19-12 at halftime.
“I liked the way we started attacking the basket in the second quarter,” said Wilcox. “We need to be able to take the ball to the basket with that kind of confidence all the time.”
A driving layup and a pull-up jumper in the lane by Tate sparked an 8-0 run late in the third quarter that gave the Royals their biggest lead of the game 34-20.
However, St. Edward did not go down without a fight. Midway through the fourth quarter sophomore Cece Rapp scored a couple baskets in the post and Clarissa Ramos followed with a three-pointer to pull the Green Wave to within 38-31 with just over three minutes to play. Rapp, who finished with a game-high 15 points, scored back-to-back baskets later in the quarter to trim the deficit to 41-36 with just over a minute left, but the Green Wave could get no closer.
“Cece is developing nicely into a force to be reckoned with in the paint,” said St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson. “She’s taking the ball to the basket with more authority and is rebounding stronger.”
The Green Wave, which fell to 0-9, continues to be without its two top returning players from a year ago in senior guard Rena Ranallo (ankle) and junior forward Katie Swanson (back). Ranallo could return sometime in the next two weeks, while Swanson may miss the whole season. Both were injured in the preseason.
“It’s tough when you lose one leader let alone two,” said Dawson. “The other girls have been forced into roles they might not otherwise be in. But they are trying their hardest to adjust. It’s certainly not a lack of effort. I think the girls have played with a lot of heart and effort. Now we just need to start learning from our mistakes and moving forward.”