FORRESTON — Junior forward Elise Hayenga does whatever she can to keep her body on an opposing player. Her work in the post and on the glass helped lead the Rochelle girls basketball team to its first victory of the season Tuesday evening.
Hayenga recorded her first career varsity double-double, grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds and adding 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting as the Lady Hubs defeated Morrison 53-33 in the final round of the Forreston Thanksgiving Tournament. The win snapped Rochelle’s four-game losing streak to start the season and improved the team’s record to 1-4 overall.
“It felt really good to get a team win,” Hayenga said. “It helped boost our confidence and hopefully we can win a few more. When players go into the post, I always try to box out whoever’s there. We need to keep working together and bettering our skills, specifically our shooting and our free throws.”
A monster third quarter was the catalyst for the Lady Hubs, who outscored Morrison 22-12 during that span to take a 37-27 lead over the Mustangs. Junior guard Sofia Lenkaitis ignited the Rochelle offense, scoring a team-high 19 points on six made baskets in the game. The scoring performance was also a career-best for Lenkaitis, who grabbed three steals on defense.
“We played like a team and we made smart choices,” Lenkaitis said. “We didn’t get upset with each other and we stayed together. We set our screens really well and we played hard. We got a lot of rebounds which was something we struggled to do in our other games. Our shots were going in and that was really nice for us.”
Rochelle held Morrison to 29.3 percent shooting in the game, and the Mustangs topped nine points in only one quarter of play. Sophomore Lucy Bunger scored a season-best 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting for the Lady Hubs, while junior Afi Gati pounded the glass with 11 rebounds.