ROCHELLE — Lady Hub senior Abby Lundquist nearly took over the game with a quick scoring outburst in the fourth quarter of the Rochelle varsity girls basketball team’s conference crossover against Kaneland on Tuesday.
With her team trailing by 12 points, Lundquist scored eight consecutive points including two 3-point shots to bring the Lady Hubs within four points of tying the Knights up in the fourth quarter. Lundquist finished with 16 points in the quarter (more than any Kaneland player had in the game) and a team-high 29 points overall, but Rochelle was unable to complete the rally, falling 52-42 to drop to 5-17 overall. The Lady Hubs have now lost seven straight games.
“We were able to keep the ball in play,” head coach Tony Rowan said. “Whenever the ball rolls out of bounds, the other team gets the chance to reset its defense. We kept the ball in play during that stretch, and Abby was that cutthroat assassin for those few minutes in the game where we were able to wear them down with our pressure.”
Rochelle entered Tuesday’s game having surrendered an average of over 70 points across its previous two games. The Lady Hubs showed tremendous energy in their press, however, forcing Kaneland to extend offensive possessions and take time off the clock. The Knights only converted four field goals in the first quarter, exiting with a slim 10-7 lead.
The Knights extended their advantage in the second quarter, though, as offensive rebounding opportunities provided Kaneland with second and third looks at the Rochelle basket. Lundquist (13 points) scored over 75 percent of the Lady Hub points in the first half, with the Knights entering the visiting locker room leading 25-17.
“Kaneland spread the floor and we had to chase around a lot,” Rowan said. “We need to be able to key onto our defenders… A lot of our kids aren’t used to pressing and we’re only going to get better at it. When we’re rebounding the basketball, we need to limit our opponents to one shot. We can’t give up multiple opportunities.”
Rochelle mustered only six points in the third quarter, but four of those came from freshman Josie Lundquist, who utilized her spin move to maneuver around Kaneland defenders before finishing at the rim with her right hand. Many freshmen have earned several varsity minutes this year including Lundquist, whose role will only grow moving forward according to her coach.
“Josie’s basketball knowledge is beyond where it should be for a freshman,” Rowan said. “She knows the game extremely well and she’s only going to get more athletic throughout the time we have her. She’s committed to doing our weight room and conditioning, and she’s a very vocal leader. It’s very impressive to see and hear from a freshman.”
Kaneland led 37-23 after three quarters. After sophomore Sofia Lenkaitis got Rochelle started with a layup early in the fourth quarter, Abby Lundquist’s 8-0 run forced Kaneland to call timeout leading 37-33. Two breakaway layups after the stoppage gave the Knights a greater cushion, however, and Kaneland successfully iced the game at the free-throw line.
Junior Gabrielle Harding, senior Makenna Ferrari and sophomore Afi Gati all had two points for Rochelle, with freshman Lucy Bunger adding one point.