ROCHELLE — Kaneland’s full-court press defense frustrated the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team during Friday’s Interstate 8 Conference rematch against the Knights.
After playing a competitive first half and holding Kaneland to only seven first-quarter points, Rochelle trailed the Knights by just three points entering the third quarter. But the Lady Hubs were unable to maneuver around Kaneland’s defensive pressure, with the Knights outscoring Rochelle 15-2 during the third quarter and ultimately coasting over the Lady Hubs 41-28.
“I thought we played them pretty evenly throughout the game and I like the way we’re coming together as a team,” head coach Ryan McQuade said. “They showed their full-court press in the first half and I didn’t think we struggled with it too much. But they came out during the third quarter and they were really aggressive in their press and we were turning the ball over way too much. I thought that third quarter really hurt us tonight but it’s a learning experience.”
Rochelle (8-12, 2-4 Interstate 8) entered Friday’s rematch looking to shut down Kaneland senior McKenzie Schueler, who converted six 3-pointers during the first matchup against the Lady Hubs. The Lady Hubs held Schueler without a triple this time around, holding the Knights to an even 7-7 score after the first quarter. Behind senior Taylor Seaton, who drove for three layups and made one free throw in the first half for seven of her 14 points, Kaneland slipped ahead 19-16 at half.
“I thought we made good adjustments, but Kaneland’s a very talented team and they have shooters all over the floor,” McQuade said. “I thought our girls played very well on the defensive end… Our girls never quit and I thought they continued to fight until the very end.”
Kaneland’s full-court press came alive in the third quarter, with the Lady Hubs struggling to find open space and the Knights forcing multiple turnovers to create transition scoring chances. Kaneland emerged from the third quarter with a 34-18 lead before the Lady Hubs answered with some full-court defense of their own early in the fourth quarter, breaking off a 9-0 run to bring the Knights within seven points. Senior Lucy Bunger led Rochelle with seven points.