MAPLE PARK — Kaneland’s off-the-dribble drives on offense created issues for the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team during its rematch with the Knights on Wednesday.
Despite a strong showing during the second half, Rochelle struggled to prevent Kaneland from reaching the basket in the first half. The Knights pressured the Lady Hub defense more than any team in the conference has all season, outscoring Rochelle 31-11 over the first two quarters to win 52-38. The Lady Hubs, who fell to 2-7 on the season, will host Sandwich this weekend.
“We let girls blow by us which put a lot of stress on our defense and allowed them to shoot more free throws,” head coach Tony Rowan said. “Girls who play more minutes for us were picking up more fouls and having to sit on the bench. We need to make sure we keep girls in front of us. We dragged into each other’s spots on offense and we were too tight to the basketball. We need to keep floating away from the ball, showing our hands and making shots.”
Senior Sofia Lenkaitis led Rochelle with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, while senior Afi Gati totaled a team-high eight rebounds. The Lady Hubs bounced back from a tough first half, outscoring the Knights 27-21 over the final two quarters. Rochelle went 11-for-15 from the free-throw line, but the team’s 16 turnovers hurt on offense, primarily in the first half.
“Our effort and execution was much better in the second half,” Rowan said. “We admitted at halftime that we were sloppy in the first half and that was the first game all season that we were letting girls beat us off the dribble to the basket. We made minor adjustments and the girls picked up their effort in the second half, which helped us be more successful.”
The Rochelle Lady Hub JV basketball team faced Kaneland on Wednesday, falling 46-30 and moving to 1-7 on the season. The JV girls will take on Sandwich this weekend.