OTTAWA — The Hub varsity basketball team saw its unprecedented shortened season end in disappointing fashion Saturday evening, when the Interstate 8 champion Ottawa Pirates dominated on their home court while handing Rochelle its most lopsided loss of the year.
Rochelle committed 21 turnovers, allowing Ottawa to score 24 transition points as the Pirates coasted over the Hubs 72-38. Senior Garrett Burdin led Rochelle with 10 points and six rebounds, while junior Zach Sanford added six points and six rebounds for the Hubs, who finished fourth in the conference with a 7-6 record this season. Rochelle dropped to 7-7 overall.
“We turned the ball over on our first possession and they hit a bunch of shots at the end of the first quarter,” head coach Tim Thompson said. “I thought our kids were a step slow the whole night and they were a step quicker in everything they did… We were just slower than them.”
Ottawa took firm control of the contest in the opening quarter, outscoring Rochelle 20-4 behind senior Anthony Cooper, who paced the Pirates with 14 points Saturday while Zach Vogel led the way with 16 points. Ottawa generated 11 steals on defense and held the Hubs under 37 percent shooting from the field. Rochelle finished 4-for-23 from 3-point range in the road loss.
“I think we were all disappointed,” Thompson said. “I told our seniors how special they’ve been to our program over the last four years and I hope they were able to enjoy the season. We talked with our sophomores and juniors about how much potential we have, but we also talked about how we need to be more consistent in what we do on a nightly basis. We need more consistent out of our guys, but we feel we can have 9-to-10 guys in our rotation next year.”
The Pirates led 42-20 at halftime and 61-32 after three quarters. Junior Tanner Lager finished with eight points, while juniors Ryan Simmons and Noah Brown combined for 11 points.