Super sophomore Brianna Rock emerges as standout for Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders

By Colin Harris | Staff Writer Published:

Very little about Kent Roosevelt sophomore forward Brianna Rock's first season at the varsity level has been normal.

In the absence of a large graduating class, Rock has been a revelation.

Through 19 games, Rock leads Roosevelt in scoring with 15.2 points per game, which puts her behind only Norton senior standout Cara Cook's 19.2 average among PTC Metro Division scorers.

Then again, one conversation with Rock and you get a grasp of her maturity when she talks about how volunteering at Hattie Larlham this season with her teammates has inspired her to take advantage of her opportunities.

The Rough Riders have spent every Thursday night since December working with developmentally disabled children and adults at the Mantua care center.

The relationships she has opened through those special moments are not forgotten when she steps onto the court.

"Hattie Larlham is such an eye-openeing experience because you see that little things like age differences between your teammates aren't important," Rock said. "It's all about family and putting others before yourself. When you see those kids, you feel like you want to do things right, because they can't experience the things I am lucky enough to."

Despite her team-leading scoring average, Kent Roosevelt head coach Craig Foreman said that Rock's selfless attitude is shown in her gritty style of play.

"Brianna is very, very determined and the most aggressive physical player we have," Foreman said. "She gets a look in her face and gets pretty intense; she's like a bull when she wants to get to the basket and no one can stop her."

It's not just about offense, though, for Rock as Foreman said she has little problem embracing the effort needed to pay defense the right way.

"She is always diving on the floor," Foreman said. "She'll hit the floor with a loud thud, because she's always going so hard for loose balls."

When it comes to varsity action, sophomores are usually seen and not heard.

So with talented seniors on the team in forwards Courtney Olesh and Libby Bradford and an experienced junior guard in Justina Fortson, has there been any issue with Rock stepping in and leading the team in scoring?

Both Foreman and Rock agree that the transition has been even smoother than anyone could have imagined.

"I knew (Rock) would score well, but I didn't think she's lead us in scoring," Foreman said. "I'm used to having a senior-driven team, so it's different for me to have the sophomore being the scoring leader like that, but it's been working well."

Rock said that putting up big numbers isn't a matter of her demanding the ball; rather, scoring has just been her way of helping her teammates the best she can.

"Everything I do is for my team and helping my girls," Rock said. "All my drive is for wanting to win for the girls and honestly, I wouldn't be doing as well if it wasn't for them helping me and making me more confident.

"We all feed off of each other," Rock said. "And that's what makes us such a good team. We stick together as a team and we're going to get through everything together."

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Email: charris@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9447

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