ROCHELLE — Members of the Rochelle boys and girls basketball teams took the court for some friendly competition Friday evening, when the Hubs and Lady Hubs hosted their annual Purple vs. White scrimmage games at RTHS to wrap up the 1st Annual Winter Meet the Hubs event.
Both programs are preparing to tip off the 2019 season, with the Lady Hubs facing Eastland in the opening round of the Forreston Thanksgiving Tournament on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Rochelle girls will have a young varsity roster this season, and many Lady Hubs who were first-year varsity players last season will be looking to step their game up this winter.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the varsity team once again,” junior Afi Gati said. “Last season helped me learn the tempo of the game at the varsity level. We’re hoping to have a winning season and it’s going to take a lot of hard work and focus.”
“I’m excited to play with the team,” sophomore Zoey Tabor added. “We know we’re young but we’ve made a lot of improvements. We want to see more improvements and we want to take steps forward, not backward. It’s going to take hard work and dedication.”
The Hubs will have a few more days to prepare for their season-opener, which arrives on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in the opening round of the Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School. Rochelle returns several guards to its varsity roster, which will be aiming to build on a 15-win campaign last winter.
“We’ve been practicing for a while but it was so much fun to run up and down the court during the Purple vs. White game,” senior Austin Brown said. “The guys are like brothers to me. We want to play fast and we have to rebound the basketball. It’s going to have to come from the heart. We have to want every rebound.”
“Being out there meant a lot to me,” senior Landan Martin added. “I think this team will play much faster since we don’t have as many big guys to feed the ball to. We’ll have to shoot the ball a lot better since we won’t have much low-post scoring, and we need to play better defense since we won’t have a 6-foot-8 shot blocker to help us out.”