Ross the boss in GHS loss

Jessica Groppe grabs a rebound during the Mustangs' 63-38 loss

The champion beat the challenger. The status quo remains.
As well as the Gilroy girls’ basketball team has played this
year, it found out the hard way that Notre Dame is still Notre
Dame.
The champion beat the challenger. The status quo remains.

As well as the Gilroy girls’ basketball team has played this year, it found out the hard way that Notre Dame is still Notre Dame.

With a 63-38 victory at GHS, the Spirits handed the Mustangs their first league loss of the season Thursday night.

“We just got outplayed,” Gilroy head coach Kari Williams. “When you score 38 points, I don’t know who in TCAL you’re going to beat.

“Give Notre Dame credit, though. They outhustled us to the ball and outrebounded us.”

And as a result, the streak lives on.

The Spirits (11-7/2-0) have never lost a TCAL game since the formation of the league in 2002. The number of wins now sits at 22 and counting.

Jessica Ross, a Gilroy native who has played a large part in nearly all of those victories, came up big once more.

The senior guard, playing well into the fourth quarter, scored 21 points against her hometown team.

“She was killing us today,” GHS guard Shanté Mancera said.

According to Ross, the Spirits were fired up from the start against a team that entered the game in first place in the early going at 2-0.

“We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy,” she said. “Gilroy’s been playing some good basketball. If we hadn’t come out hard, I don’t know what the outcome would’ve been.”

Notre Dame did come out hard, forcing the ‘Stangs into turnover after turnover in taking a 15-3 lead. From that point on, the lead never dipped below nine.

The Spirits led 28-17 at halftime and kept a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The margin hovered between 10 and 15 points for much of the game, and the Mustangs could never quite break through.

“We wanted to shut the door,” Ross said.

Late in the third quarter, they finally did.

After Gilroy trimmed the lead to 39-28, the Spirits ended the game on a 24-10 run.

“Whenever things would start to lean our way slightly, they would come up with big plays,” Williams said.

“They just didn’t let us back into it. Of course, we did a lot of that to ourselves.”

Gilroy (13-7/2-1) committed 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone, and tallied 24 for the game.

“It was pretty much just us,” said GHS center Amanda Link, who led the ‘Stangs with 13 points. “We rushed the ball and didn’t take the best shots. We were not playing our game.”

A big part of that game lately has been the team’s transition game. Against the Spirits, Gilroy played some tough defense – forcing 23 turnovers – but didn’t convert many of those opportunities into points.

“Gilroy has been running the court well,” Notre Dame head coach John Given said. “So we came in trying to take away that transition game. Fortunately we were able to do that.”

It’ll be awhile before the Mustangs are allowed to bounce back. They’ve got eight days until their next game, a road trip to Live Oak next Friday night.

“We take something out of every game – whether it’s a win or a loss,” Williams. “This was an experience we’ll just have to learn something from.”

GHS 11 6 11 10

ND 22 6 13 22

Gilroy

Player FGs FTs Points

Mancera 1 0 3

Nowakowski 2 0 4

DiFiore 1 0 2

Hussey 2 0 4

Groppe 1 3 5

Link 5 3 13

Campos 2 1 7

3-pointers: Mancera, Campos (2)

Turnovers: 24

Notre Dame

Player FGs FTs Points

Goodenough 3 3 9

Ross 9 1 21

Plummer 4 5 13

Schutzler 2 1 5

Ward 1 0 2

Connolly 1 0 2

Taylor 2 0 6

Mendalla 1 1 3

Santos 1 0 2

3-pointers: Ross (2), Taylor (2)

Turnovers: 23

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