Next Rose up for the Lady Redskins

Seth Kinker
Sports editor

From the Feb. 20 edition of The Community Post.

The surname Rose is familiar to those in the Fort Loramie community.

Lady Redskins junior forward Dana Rose’s older cousin is 2014 graduate Darian Rose, the program’s all-time leading scorer.

This year, Rose has continued to improve her game as a key part of the undefeated Lady Redskins basketball team as they gear up for their latest post season run.

On Feb. 19, she was named to the First Team for the Shelby County Athletic League while also winning Player of the Year Honors.

At the end of the regular season, Rose averaged 11.6 points per game, four rebounds per game, 2.23 steals per game, and 1.71 assists per game. She’s also shooting 59% from the field with a 71% rate from the free throw line with 24 blocks on the year.

The coaching staff keeps an eye on the youth programs and although they acknowledged Rose didn’t have the length she does now, 11th year junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant Phil Barhorst knew she had potential.

“She has some skills that can’t be taught,” said Barhorst. “She’s got some natural ability.”

Along with getting stronger; Rose hit a growth spurt after seventh grade and did so again between her freshman and sophomore years, as well as this past summer.

“I had height, so I still knew how to dribble because that was my specialty but now I could post up on smaller girls and get in the post,” said Rose.

Coming into high school, the goal was to get Rose used to the speed of the game from middle school to high school. Things like speeding up her shot and dribbling lower.

“As far as the season (went), (we) just kept encouraging her,” said head coach Carla Siegel. “Telling her what she did right, showed her what she did wrong. She’s just a sponge and she corrected it and made her a better player and our team a better team. I give that all to her.”

“What I love about her, she’s got great body language,” added Siegel. “People don’t understand how important that is. I love it when I talk to her or yell at her, she looks me straight in the eyes and says, ‘ok coach.’ She’s receptive and coachable, two traits I admire about her.”

“We knew she was talented and took her in and she fit in right away,” said senior guard Taylor Ratermann. “When we were underclassmen the upperclassmen took us in and we did the same thing.”

Freshman head coach and varsity assistant Courtney Paul told The Community Post about the good problem they had on their hands with Rose.

Paul worked with the middle school program for a year when Rose was in seventh grade before moving up to the high school ranks and didn’t see her again until her sophomore year.

“When Dana was in seventh grade she was smaller, she played point guard for that team,” said Paul. “I leave the junior high program; she comes in as a sophomore and she’s now this big kid. Now I’m thinking point guard or post? She still had the point guard skills. I think it was full circle for Dana, she has all these skills and now this height to go with it.”

Siegel recalled suiting up to play during an open gym when there were only five girls, half court Siegel was sure to make clear, and Rose was performing well as an eighth grader going into freshman year.

“I said, ‘I need you to grow a couple inches, can you do that for me?’” said Siegel. “I was joking of course, height is whatever, and she said, ‘I’ll see what I can do coach.’ She’s gone from 5’8” to 6’ in the last three years, I just keep saying to her, ‘Keep growing girl!’”

Yes, Rose is one more year the wiser and comfortable with what Siegel demands from her team.

“She makes those adjustments,” said Barhorst. “She has a tendency to catch on quicker, you can see it. You can’t teach some of the things that kid does.”

But she’s also where she wants to be position wise.

“I think being a point guard last year really helped her in the post (this year) to make moves outside of just the key,” said senior forward Marissa Meiring. “She was a very versatile point guard.”

As a freshman who made junior varsity improved over the course of the season to earn a varsity call up come tournament time, Rose still didn’t play any post until late last season.

Rose spent most of her sophomore campaign on the 26-2 regional final team as the point guard, a position she’s played ever since she was young.

“I didn’t start off at point guard that season it just kind of happened over time because we didn’t have a set point guard to start off with,” said Rose. “(Siegel) told me she wanted me to be point guard so I had to focus on that, on getting the team ready during games and practices.”

“It made her (more of) a threat,” said fellow junior forward Kenzie Hoelscher, who’s played with Rose since first grade. “You can have her outside playing point and if someone small goes out to guard her she can go in the paint and be as big of a threat.”

“Her being a point guard helped with her leadership,” said senior guard Kennedi Gephardt. “Being a sophomore, she had to direct us as juniors. That helps this year when she’s in the post, she’s very direct calling for the ball.”

As it became more of point guard by committee as the season carried on, Rose got in the post a little bit more and realized she enjoyed the position.

“It was ultimately where I wanted to be because I feel like you can do a lot for your team, you can also do it as a point guard,” said Rose. “But (when) you’re inside, close to the basket you can get rebounds and pass out for your teammates.”

When last offseason hit, the Lady Redskins realized they had two guards ready to make the move to varsity, allowing Rose to make the full transition to the post for this year.

“She did a pretty good job but it wasn’t her natural fit,” said Lady Redskins head coach Carla Siegel. “It was the best thing for our team and she handled it quite well. When I met with her in April, I asked her if that would be alright and she was ecstatic.”

“I never heard her complain one time about it, she stepped into the role and owned it,” said Paul. “But when summer rolls around and we had guards ready step into the position, you could almost see the weight lifted off her shoulders.”

That doesn’t mean she doesn’t handle the ball; it just means that the Lady Redskins now have one more player able to push the ball in their signature transition game as soon as they get possession.

It’s also one more player that’s able to defend multiple positions, disrupt passing lanes, rebound, score at all three levels and do all the little things that make up Siegel led teams.

After no seniors on last year’s team, the depth and team chemistry of this years team is something Siegel has even said has been some of the best she’s had in her years coaching.

“All of mesh together really well,” said Rose. “There's no tension, we're all good friends and hang out after basketball. It helps we know each other well. We know what we want and were going to go and play hard no matter who were playing.”

Siegel knew Rose would be alright when at the start of the season, she showed frustration during a practice and Siegel pulled her aside to talk to her.

Siegel wasn’t sure if it was because of her new role back in the post, or maybe putting too much on her plate at the start of the season with the team still missing volleyball players as they made their post season run, so she asked Rose if she’d like to go back to point guard, which got a resounding ‘no’ from Rose.

After their conversation, Rose texted Siegel that evening.

“She said, ‘Coach I just want to let you know I’m fine, thanks for talking to me, and don’t you ever stop pushing me,’” said Siegel. “For a 17-year-old high school girl to say that to her coach… When I got that from her I knew she would be ok. She’s going to be a rock-solid player for me because she realizes I’m only driving her because she can do it. You don’t drive someone that can’t do it. I loved that text from her, meant the world to me.”