Russo sisters at home on the basketball court

By Kayleigh Rahn
The first basketball court the Russo sisters shared wasn’t in a gymnasium with bright lights and hardwood floor.

It was the driveway at their family home.

“We’d play for hours, even after dark, with the neighborhood kids,” said Cassie Russo. “We’d play until we had to go inside for the night.”

While the scenery changed, Cassie, Lexie, and Marrisa Russo still felt at home as they shared the court on several occasions this season as Lady Warriors. The trio may well be the only set of three sisters to share varsity minutes for the girls’ basketball team, and certainly the only set of three in recent memory.

TCHS senior Cassie and junior Lexie have shared the court for three seasons; however, when younger sister freshman Marissa earned her jersey midway through the 2017-2018 season, the family was excited to see the girls in action together.

“We’d gotten used to having Cassie and Lexie on the court together, and when Marissa moved up to varsity it made it that much more special,” their mother Tina Russo said.

Head girls’ basketball coach Tim Kohlbecker said Marissa earned her jersey after showing what she could do for the junior varsity squad.

“She was a double double machine,” Kohlbecker said. “She was doing well in practice and was doing what we were asking her to do.”

Cassie said they’d anticipated the move up for Marissa and were proud to welcome her to the varsity family. The older sisters answered the freshman’s questions about plays and gave advice as needed.

“They were a great help with telling me what was going on, and they’d help out when I had questions about different plays,” Marissa said.

Tina says she always thought they’d grow older and find their own interests or individual talents, but basketball has been a common focus for the girls.

“They are even drawn to the same position,” Tina said. Though each a post player, they’ve learned the roles of guards, just in case they were called on to fill in for a teammate. Even during volleyball season, Lexie made the move to an outside hitter to get more court time since her older sister Cassie was the team’s middle hitter.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 21 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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