Last year was a tough season for T.J. Dade’s Robinson Rams, as they only won seven games the entire year. This season looks a little more promising, as they already have won seven just two weeks into the season.
On Tuesday night the #19 Rams got 16 points and six assists from senior point guard Joelle Hugney to defeat Herndon, 55-43 and remain undefeated on the year. With wins over traditionally solid programs like Langley, Chantilly, and now the Hornets, Dade’s team has announced itself as a contender in the ridiculously deep Patriot District.
“We’ve just got a good core of returning kids that believe in what we’re doing and are helping to pass it along to the younger kids,” Dade told us when we asked why his team has improved so dramatically. “Four of the five freshmen who played a lot last year are back. We needed them to take a big offseason jump and they have. The team now has confidence and expects to win.”
His team certainly came out of the gate Tuesday night looking like it expected to win. The Rams jumped to an early 6-0 lead and led Herndon 18-9 after one quarter. The host Rams’ offense looked crisp, with sophomore guard Tate Lewis delivering five assists in the quarter alone.
“The key tonight was the start of the game offensively,” Dade said. “We ran our offenses and got what we wanted out of it. The spacing, the cuts…it’s going to be fun to look at the game tape for this one.”
It didn’t hurt that Hugney was on fire, hitting four three-pointers en route to 16 first half points. Meanwhile Herndon as a team could only muster 16 points.
The young Hornets did not quit. They got their transition game untracked in the third quarter to out-score the Rams 17-13. The Hornets did a much better defensive job on Hugney, who did not score in the second half, and clawed their way back to within 10 at several points in the game.
To Herndon’s dismay, the Rams always counter-punched when the Hornets inched closer. While Hugney did not score late, she found other ways to help, continuously finding teammates open to drain shots en route to six total assists on the evening. The Rams gave her ample support with junior Bella Edwards (nine points, five rebounds) and sophomore Veronica Bubak (nine points, seven rebounds) contributing nice all-around games.
Herndon (1-2), which only played one senior on the night, was led by freshman Jailyn Alston with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Guards Laci Johnson and Madisen Kimble combined for 19 points, while junior Jessie Pearson got to the line eight times and hauled in nine rebounds. The Hornets will visit Chantilly Friday.
Robinson (7-0), meanwhile, will try to keep the good vibes going next week as they tangle with Hayfield and begin Patriot District play. Dade is well aware how good the district is, but understandably likes where his team is, especially after seeing his team register 18 assists on 21 field goals on the night.
“It will be tough but we’re confident,” he said. “The girls are working hard and playing as a team.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Hugney 4-8, Rosales 1-3, I.Edwards 1-5|
|Threes: Johnson 2-6, Alston 1-1, Batt 1-1, Kimble 1-5, Pearson 0-2, Koch 0-2|