Boys Basketball: Hubs edge Princeton for Senior Night victory

Simmons leads Rochelle with 18 points in 59-54 win

Russell Hodges
Posted 2/11/22

The Rochelle Hub varsity basketball team celebrated Senior Night with a 59-54 home victory over the Princeton Tigers in nonconference action Saturday afternoon.

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Boys Basketball: Hubs edge Princeton for Senior Night victory

Simmons leads Rochelle with 18 points in 59-54 win


ROCHELLE — Zach Sanford’s recovery from an offseason knee injury came full circle on Saturday, when the talented forward earned the first home start of his senior season as the Rochelle Hub varsity basketball team faced a tough nonconference opponent in the Princeton Tigers for the team’s Senior Night matchup.

Tasked with defending 6-foot-7 center Kaden Monroe, Sanford held his own while contributing eight points as the Hubs held off the Tigers 59-54 for their second victory in two days. Rochelle (18-10, 10-3 Interstate 8) will have two regular-season matchups remaining until beginning the IHSA 3A Rochelle Regional next week.

“The nerves weren’t there for me tonight,” Sanford said. “I was much more nervous Friday night against Sandwich, but I felt much more prepared tonight. I thought Princeton was a really good matchup in terms of their height and we haven’t seen much of their height this season. [Kaden] Monroe was the biggest kid I’ve had to guard in my entire high school career, but it was really cool to face a kid with similar strength as me.”

Princeton guards Teegan Davis and Grady Thompson started strong for the Tigers, combining for 10 first-quarter points on five made field goals to give their team the early advantage. Despite Monroe finding his rhythm down low with seven of his 12 points in the game during the second quarter, Rochelle knocked down three 3-pointers to stay within striking distance. With the Hubs trailing 26-22 at halftime, senior Ryan Simmons drilled two triples in the third quarter while Sanford converted a pair of low-post baskets.

“We needed to lock down defensively in the second half,” Sanford said. “We were hedging and switching a lot more than we were in the first half and we eliminated a lot of their shooting. It feels really good to win this game and we’re getting much closer to the 20-win mark and a potential conference championship.”

Senior Tanner Lager also showed up in the second half, sinking two floaters in the third quarter and scored on two aggressive drives to the rim in the fourth quarter to cap off an 11-point evening. After bringing the Tigers within one point after three quarters, Rochelle took the lead over in the fourth quarter, where Simmons swished another 3-pointer and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line down the stretch to finish with a game-high 18 points. Senior Noah Brown added his third triple of the night to end with 11 points.


The Rochelle Hub varsity basketball team moved one step closer to clinching a share of the Interstate 8 Conference title this season with an 85-63 victory over the Sandwich Indians on the road Friday night. Seniors Noah Brown and Ryan Simmons each scored 20 points to lead the Rochelle offense in the win, with Brown hitting five 3-point shots. Senior Tanner Lager added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hubs.

Rochelle overcame a slow first quarter, erasing a 23-15 deficit and taking the lead 39-36 at halftime. The Hubs forced 20 Sandwich turnovers and 21 Indian fouls in the game, utilizing those miscues to outscore Sandwich 21-10 from the free-throw line, 19-11 in transition points and 26-15 in points off turnovers. Seniors Adam Kemp and Zach Sanford each scored nine points, with Kemp adding eight rebounds.

Cheer dance seniors

The Rochelle Lady Hub cheer and dance teams also recognized their senior members on Saturday. Pictured above from left to right are Kelsey O'Brien, Jasmine Sarabia, Megan Thompson, Liberty Hayes, Kayden Kannheiser and Taylor Ponto.