PLANO — Unprecedented circumstances couldn’t prevent historic results from the Rochelle Hub varsity basketball team Friday evening, when the purple and white posted an offensive performance rarely seen in the history of Rochelle Township High School hoops.
With head coach Tim Thompson sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, assistant coach Jared Johnson stepped in for the Hubs, who drilled a school-record 18 triples and dished out 29 assists in their 90-56 victory over the Plano Reapers. The 29 assists were the second most in a game from any team in school history, falling one assist short of the school record.
Senior Garrett Burdin led Rochelle (3-3) with 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the win, while junior Tanner Lager recorded a season-best 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting along with three assists and three rebounds. The Hubs shot 50 percent from 3-point range, with 15 of the team’s 18 conversions (83 percent) coming from the elbows and the top of the arch.
“We’re starting to really play well together,” Lager said. “We’re moving the ball better and that’s what led to our 18 threes on Friday. Plano was running a zone defense and I thought we passed the ball better than we had during any game this season. It was one of our best game in regard to moving the ball. Once I hit my first few shots, I kept shooting the ball and became more confident in my offense. We need to keep playing together and moving the ball well.”
Five Hubs sunk at least three 3-pointers in the victory including juniors Ryan Simmons and Adam Kemp, who scored 14 points and 13 points, respectively. Senior Michael Schlenbecker added nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point land off the Rochelle bench. Kemp sent out six assists in the win, while Simmons distributed five assists for the Hubs, who host Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Junior Zach Sanford recorded nine points and nine rebounds.
“The ball movement was great during the game,” Kemp said. “Their defense was slow and we had a lot of open shots. I thought we consistently made the next pass that created open shots. We passed up good shots for great shots and that really helped us. We’ve been scoring the ball well lately, but we need to keep improving on defense. If we do that, we’ll be tough to beat.”
The Rochelle Hub sophomore basketball team won its second straight game Friday evening, defeating Plano 45-33. Raul Aguirre led Rochelle with 16 points. Rochelle hosted Morris on Monday, winning 46-37 and reaching 3-4 overall. The Hub sophomores will face Ottawa at home on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.