ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub basketball team returned to the hardwood late last month for the start of its summer skill and agility camp, with several incoming and returning student-athletes lacing up their shoes and getting a head start on the upcoming winter season.
The summer skills camp tipped off on Tuesday, May 31 and will conclude on Wednesday, June 29. The camp runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30-8 a.m. at the Rochelle Township High School gymnasium. Head varsity coach Ryan McQuade said he’s been pleased with the level of effort and participation shown from both new and returning players this summer.
“I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve seen so far,” McQuade said. “We have a really good mix of new and returning players and we have a really good freshman class coming in this summer. We have almost 40 players out this summer which is extremely good for our program. I’m pleased with how we’ve looked during the summer league and I think we look fantastic compared to where we were at this point last season. I’m excited for what the future holds.”
In addition to the skills camp, Rochelle has been playing in the Byron Summer League every Tuesday. The Lady Hubs have already scored a decisive win against Genoa-Kingston while suffering a tough loss against Byron. As the summer moves forward, McQuade said an emphasis during skills camp has been improving the team’s assist-to-turnover ratio.
“It’s something we’ve been harping on during every practice,” McQuade said. “We struggled in that category last season and it resulted in us being in a lot of close games, but not finishing on top. We turned the ball over way too much last season and we didn’t assist on enough of our made shots. I saw a huge improvement in that category during our summer game against Genoa-Kingston. We’re focusing on making good passes and not dribbling the ball too much.”
The Lady Hubs will be looking to build on a 15-17 finish to the 2021-22 season at the varsity level. Rochelle saw several seniors including starters Zoey Tabor, Josie Lundquist, Lucy Bunger and Abby Luxton depart from the program this offseason. The Lady Hubs will have multiple players returning, however, including seniors Torrin Nantz and Bailey Jackson, who McQuade said have each shown significant growth on and off the basketball court this summer.
“Torrin and Bailey have really stepped up this summer,” McQuade said. “Bailey did a really nice job at the JV level last season and I’m looking for her to take a big step forward this season. She’s looked really good so far in terms of her skill, but her leadership has improved a lot as well. Torrin’s our only starter returning and she’s putting in a lot of work this offseason. Her shot looks better than it ever has, she’s handling the ball well and she’s playing tough defense.”