SHABBONA — Head coach Tony Rowan said Monday afternoon that the Rochelle varsity girls basketball team will be looking for some quality minutes from freshman Sylvia Hasz. The forward didn’t disappoint when the Lady Hubs faced Indian Creek in nonconference play Tuesday evening.
Using her size and length advantage to create opportunities around the basket, Hasz scored a season-best 12 points while leading Rochelle with 16 rebounds for her first double-double of the year. The freshman’s efforts down low helped the Lady Hubs beat Indian Creek 61-51 and improve to 3-5 on the season.
“She was all over the boards,” Rowan said. “As soon as she realizes how strong she can be… She’s going to be a beast for us. When she really understands her strength, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Rochelle padded the boards early in the game, with several players including freshman Lucy Bunger and sophomore Afi Gati standing tall over the smaller Indian Creek players. Both Bunger and Gati grabbed seven rebounds in the game, and behind 11 early points from senior Abby Lundquist (who totaled nine rebounds in the game), the Lady Hubs led 18-8 after one quarter.
“I think this win is a really big confidence booster,” Rowan said. “We hadn’t been playing well over the last few weeks but a lot of different girls saw the ball go through the net tonight. Any time we can score 61 points in a game, we’re doing something right.”
Junior Gabrielle Harding’s 3-point play in the first quarter also gave the Lady Hubs an offensive boost. Hasz, Bunger and Gati each scored two points in the second quarter, with Lundquist running her total up to 19 points as Indian Creek slowly sliced into Rochelle’s lead behind Brooke Heiman and Jade Milostan, who each scored 13 points on Tuesday.
The Lady Hubs led 32-26 at halftime, and Rochelle never trailed at any point during the first half. The girls remained ahead for the entire second half as well, as Lundquist continued to carry the offensive load with 13 third-quarter points. The senior had 32 points with Rochelle up 51-41 after three quarters.
“She really settled herself down,” Rowan said. “She gets frustrated during some games but I think she really started trusting her teammates during this game. She was able to read and react extremely well. We’re going to ask for a lot out of Abby this season, and tonight she proved she can handle that.”
Rochelle totaled 47 rebounds in the game, with 21 rebounds coming on the offensive end. Bunger recorded two steals and Gati blocked two Indian Creek shots to headline the Lady Hub defense. Lundquist finished with a season-high 37 points, and Gati had five points while Bunger and freshman Zoey Tabor each had two points.