Dominating Debut

University of Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey and assistant Tom Ostrom are on hand to watch Little Rock Parkview sophomore and Razorback commit Aaron Ross (6-7, 215) toss in 27 points and grab 12 rebounds in his team's 62-54 road win over Springdale Har-Ber.

Just a few hours after talking with the media about his newest signing class, University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey got to see a star of a future one open his season.

Little Rock Parkview sophomore forward and 2011 Razorback commit Aaron Ross (6-7, 215) poured in 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 3 assists as the visiting Patriots downed Springdale Har-Ber 62-54 Tuesday night in high school basketball action.

Ross was 10-of-16 from the field, 5-of-7 from the free throw line, knocked down a 3-pointer and stepped up down the stretch when his team fell behind with Pelphrey and Razorback assistant Tom Ostrom looking on.

"Coach Pelphrey is getting an outstanding young man," noted long-time Parkview head coach Al Flanigan. "The sky is the limit and he is just going to get better when I get him to where he is going to play defense every trip, then he really is going to be tough."

"…As far as offensive skills, he is as good as anybody right now," Flanigan added. "He can do a lot of things. He demands a double team every time. He wants to float a little outside too much, but once he gets in there with his back he can go to work."

Ross had 18 points and 8 rebounds in the opening half and Parkview seemed to be on its way to rout with a 44-26 lead in the third quarter only to see the Wildcats go on a 26-7 run to take the lead.

"We stopped playing and stopped working hard on defense and they made a run," said Ross, who played last season for Pulaski Academy and was playing his season opener on Tuesday night.

Most of that damage was done by Taylor Sites, who led Har-Ber with 23 points.

"We couldn't find the shooters," Flanigan said. "Everybody in the house knew it was 15 (Sites) and our guy was drifting back in. It was like they didn't have a clue who was going to shoot."

Ross, however, took it upon himself to convert an old-fashioned 3-point play and give his team a 54-52 lead it would not relinquish.

It was just one of the many contested shots that Ross made during the game that left Har-Ber head coach Eric Burnett shaking his head.

Those are tough shots," Burnett said. "He didn't have a wide open shot. Joel (Perry) had a hand in his face every time, but he is just a big time player."

Flanigan did get after Ross near the end of the ballgame when he took out the ball instead of getting ready to receive it.

"I don't want him taking it out," Flanigan said. "I want him fouled and going to the line. He is still learning and we've got a ways to go, but we are going to get there with him."

That in turn should help Parkview – one of the state's most storied programs – be in the battle for another state championship.

"Our goal is to be the last team playing and be in the finals," Flanigan said. "That is our goal every year. Anything less is unacceptable."

Ironically, Ross could very well be playing for Har-Ber or Springdale this season if he had not moved to Little Rock after his eighth grade year.

His older brother Carlos Conley was in attendance.

"I thought he took the game slow and maybe had some jitterbugs in him, but after that first miss that barely grazed the rim, he got a dunk and I thought he really got into the game after that," Conley said. "It was kind of a bittersweet moment for him."

Conley knows his brother has a chance to be one of the best to ever come out of the state. "Like I tell people, the older Aaron gets and the more he hits the weights, the better he is going to get," Conley said. "He has already come a long way as far as his footwork and as far as getting his body right with his conditioning."





Aaron Ross


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