Girls Basketball: Lady Hubs return to the court

Senior Torrin Nantz headlines a group of key returning players for the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team this season. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle faces Guilford in season opener on Nov. 16

ROCHELLE — As Ryan McQuade prepares to begin his second season as head coach of the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team, expectations are to win at least 20 games and compete for an IHSA Regional Championship title during the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

“We have such a great group of girls and I’m really excited to get back into the season,” McQuade said. “We want to compete for regional championships and we want to strive for 20 wins on a yearly basis. I really like our chances of achieving those goals this season. I know these girls are going to put in the work because I know they want to succeed. We took a big step forward last season and I’m hoping we can take an even larger leap forward this season.”

The Lady Hubs tipped off the season with their first practice on Monday. Rochelle will open its season with a road matchup against Guilford on Wednesday, Nov. 16 before traveling for the Forreston Thanksgiving Tournament. The Lady Hubs are looking to build on a 15-17 overall record and a 7-7 record in the Interstate 8 Conference, where Rochelle tied for fourth place.

“I think we have a well rounded team,” McQuade said. “We have a good mix of guards and forwards and we have a couple of good shooters. I think we’re going to excel on the defensive side of the ball and that’s what we want our identity to be. We want to be the best defensive team on the floor every night and we want to be one of the hardest working teams in the region.”

Rochelle will begin the Interstate 8 schedule with a home game against Kaneland on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. The Lady Hubs return multiple key players from last season’s varsity roster including senior Torrin Nantz as well as juniors Alivia Henkel and Sydney Tabor. Junior Kennedy Adamski and senior Bailey Jackson could also see bigger roles on the varsity team this season.

“I think Torrin is going to have a huge season for us,” McQuade said. “Her shot looks better than I’ve ever seen it and I’m really excited to see how much she’s progressed from last season. Sydney moved up to the varsity level during the Dixon tournament last season and really came on strong defensively. Alivia has put in a ton of work and she’s extremely dedicated. We need some size this season and I’m hoping Kennedy can give us some really good minutes.”