OREGON — Shooting struggles have held the Rochelle varsity boys basketball team back over the last few games, and the Hubs continue to draw more iron than net when the purple and white faced Oregon on the road Wednesday evening.
Behind standout Trey Woolsey, who led the Hawks with a game-high 30 points, Oregon jumped out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter. The Hawks knocked down 14 3-pointers compared to only four from Rochelle, and Oregon had five players in double figures to win 79-66 victory over the Hubs, who fell to 10-14 overall with the loss.
“They shot the ball fantastically,” head coach Tim Thompson said. “Not only in the first quarter but during the entire game… We looked one step slow all night, and it seemed like every time we cut their lead down to about six points, they would hit a big 3-pointer. We just couldn’t make up for those made shots.”
Oregon led 25-15 after one quarter, making five 3-pointers including two from Woolsey, who added three more triples in the second quarter. Senior Johnny Beck carried the scoring load for Rochelle, leading the Hubs with 14 points by halftime and finishing with a team-best 27 points, four blocks and 12 rebounds. Despite holding Woolsey to only two points in the third quarter, Rochelle surrendered 13 points to the Oregon standout in the fourth quarter.
“He’s hard to handle,” Thompson said. “He wasn’t getting into the lane all that much, but every shot he took was outside of 27 feet. Even when we were guarding up to almost 30 feet, he would put shots up where we didn’t know whether or not he was going to shoot the ball, and those shots were nothing but net.”
The Rochelle defense forced 23 turnovers on Wednesday, but the Hubs were unable to generate enough offense outside of Beck to claw back from their early deficit. The Hawks led 44-35 at halftime and 57-46 after three quarters. Senior Kaleb Ackland totaled 11 points, four steals and six rebounds, while sophomore Garrett Burdin and junior Landan Martin each recorded nine points.
Martin led the Hubs with five steals, and Burdin added seven rebounds for Rochelle, which has lost four of its last five games dating back to a close victory over LaSalle-Peru this past month.
“I don’t think we’ve been shooting the ball well,” Thompson said. “We’ve gone back on the road and run into tough teams who we didn’t play well against. If we’re going to get some wins heading into the regional, we need to shoot the ball better.”