ROCHELLE — The Rochelle girls basketball season won’t be tipping off for another five months, but that doesn’t mean the Lady Hubs are taking any days off this summer.
Players ranging from incoming freshmen to returning seniors took the court this past week for the annual RTHS high school summer camp. The one-week session serves to help players develop fundamental skills while having fun, enhancing strength and conditioning and creating a positive team culture.
“I’m excited about how hungry these kids are,” head coach Tony Rowan said. “We’ve seen dramatic improvements in our kids from the end of the season to where we are now. We had our first league games last night, and even though we’re still shaking off some of the rust, the kids impressed me.”
Several returning varsity players suited up for camp this past week including juniors Bella Lodico, Sofia Lenkaitis and Afi Gati, who figure to play significant roles this coming season. Sophomores Zoey Tabor and Lucy Bunger also helped lead players in camp drills that included 3-on-3 exhibition games, skills drills and more.
“The big thing for us is increasing our intensity and getting a lot of shots up,” Rowan said. “We’re going to talk about shooting percentage, turnovers and a lot of other things. We’ve been in a losing cycle over these last six years or so, and we want to make sure our possessions stay high and our turnovers stay low.”
The one-week summer camp won’t be the only basketball action the Lady Hubs get this summer, as Rochelle will compete in the annual Byron Summer League against local high school programs around the northern Illinois area. Games tipped off this past week, and the Lady Hubs will see more minutes on the floor as the summer progresses.
“We’re going to have a very young team so our intensity will be huge for us,” Rowan said. “We need to get our younger kids some varsity-level experience, and for the freshmen becoming sophomores, last year was a learning experience. They know what to expect in terms of the speed and physicality, and I’m hoping they’ll start shining here.”