MORRIS — Rochelle senior Noah Brown had been patiently waiting for a breakout shooting performance. That opportunity came during an Interstate 8 Conference matchup against Morris on Friday, when Brown scored a team-high 21 points while hitting five 3-pointers to lead the Hub varsity basketball team over the Redskins 68-63. Rochelle improved to 4-5 with the victory.
“I think we all realized that we have to come together as a team,” Brown said. “We had to pass the ball and move the ball well. We came into practice last week with more energy and we’ve been able to figure things out really quickly. We moved the ball well against Morris and it was a big confidence booster for me because Morris has always been a hard place to play.”
With Brown leading the charge, Rochelle shot over 45 percent from the field and over 41 percent from 3-point range against the Redskins. The Hubs build a 19-15 lead after the first quarter before Morris inched closer during the second quarter, bringing Rochelle within one point at halftime. Despite a strong offensive performance from Gage Phillips, who led the Redskins with 18 points, Morris struggled against Rochelle’s ball pressure all evening long.
“We knew they had a good shooter and we pressured him as much as we could,” said Brown, who added six defensive rebounds and two steals in the victory. “They shot the ball well during the first quarter, but once we started pressuring their shooter, they shut down in the second half… We just have to keep working. Our conference has a lot of evenly matched teams.”
Senior Adam Kemp finished with 13 points and five rebounds for the Hubs, while senior Ryan Simmons totaled 10 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Senior Cooper Hasz added nine points and three rebounds for the Hubs, who are now 2-1 in the Interstate 8.