ROCHELLE — Morgan Baker wasn’t going to let another slow third quarter prevent the Lady Hubs varsity basketball team from earning a victory when Rochelle faced off against the DeKalb Barbs at Rochelle Township High School on Tuesday.
Troubles in the third quarter hurt Rochelle against both Kaneland and Ottawa recently, but the Lady Hubs carried their positive momentum into the second half after leading DeKalb 25-12 in the first half on Tuesday. Much of that energy came from Baker, who outscored the Barbs on her own 13-12 in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 23 points in Rochelle’s 50-37 win.
“We knew we were having a rough time with the third quarter so we talked about working on coming out strong,” Baker said. “We shot the ball more in the second half instead of just dragging around… It was really nice to have this win to boost our energy and let us press harder going into our game against Geneseo on Friday.”
While Baker’s offense helped Rochelle maintain a sizeable lead throughout the game, the Lady Hub defense stifled DeKalb all night long. The Barbs trailed 12-4 after the first quarter while making only two field goals in the quarter, and no DeKalb players scored more than 10 points in the game. Sanaa Finner led the Barbs with nine points while Rocky Mills added five points.
“The key for us on defense was to play hard and box out,” Baker said. “We wanted to make their girls be unable to get around us and we wanted to trap them and force bad passes.”
Baker’s offensive outburst in the third quarter netted Rochelle a 41-24 lead after three quarters of play, and the Lady Hubs put the game away at the free-throw line holding a double-digit advantage. Junior Abby Lundquist chipped in 14 points and senior Jacie Wyatt added six points for the Lady Hubs, who improved to 3-5 overall with their first home win of the season.
“We were being the aggressor and we were flying around on defense and forcing bad shot attempts,” head coach Tony Rowan said. “Morgan was all over the place, and I definitely think she’s having fun this year. We’ve sometimes struggled to get the nerves out at home but we started the game hot and we played a complete game.”