ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team will be looking for a new direction after stringing together a 3-10 overall record during the shortened winter season this year. Head coach Tony Rowan will be stepping down after eight years running the RTHS program.
Rochelle took sixth place in the Interstate 8 Conference, collecting victories over Kaneland, Plano and Morris. While the Lady Hubs ranked fourth in total offense, Rochelle averaged only 34.8 points per game. The Lady Hubs were sixth in total defense at 41.8 points per game.
“This was one of the best defensive teams I’ve had in terms of our communication, our physicality and how the kids bought into our system,” Rowan said. “We struggled to score and we shot about 23 percent on the season when we wanted to shoot anywhere from 35-to-40 percent… A lot of our kids had varsity experience, so their basketball IQ at the varsity level was much better and they could anticipate what was happening in terms of rebounding the ball, taking good shots and reading passing lanes. The kids really improved their IQ from last year.”
Seniors Sofia Lenkaitis and Afi Gati led the way for the Lady Hubs, with both players earning All-Conference Honorable Mentions this season. Lenkaitis and Gati are two of the four seniors (Elise Hayenga and Alexis Sanford) who will graduate from the program this year. Rochelle will have a core group of juniors eligible to return, however, including starters Zoey Tabor and Josie Lundquist as well as Lucy Bunger, Abby Luxton, Jordin Dickey and Adriannah Davis-Carter.
“I’m hoping that the kids who are coming back can commit throughout the offseason and take steps forward,” Rowan said. “The seniors earned a lot of playing time this season, which should create opportunities for the juniors next season. It’ll be up to the kids to make the most of their offseason program so they can take the necessary steps forward to be successful.”