ROCHELLE — Freshman Kendyl Darby earned the chance to prove herself during the fourth quarter of the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball game against DeKalb on Monday.
Coming off the bench, Darby sparked the Lady Hub offense late in the game, scoring eight of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter as Rochelle held on to defeat the Barbs 44-41. Senior Josie Lundquist added 13 points for the Lady Hubs, who improved to 3-4 with the win.
“I really wanted to prove myself out there,” Darby said. “I wanted to prove to my coach that I could play with the varsity team and that’s what had me fired up. Our effort and our desire to win the game played a big role for us during the second half. We’re hoping this win can help grow the Lady Hub basketball program and we love having people here to watch us play.”
Senior Zoey Tabor initiated the Lady Hub offense Monday evening, hitting both of her 3-point shots and making two transition layups to score all 10 of her points in the first quarter. The Barbs leaned heavily on 6-foot center Kailey Porter and guard Amina Gray, who used their size, speed and ball handling around the basket to score all 25 of the first-half points for DeKalb.
The Barbs led 25-24 at halftime, but both teams kicked up the intensity on defense during the third quarter, with the Lady Hubs using their hands and quick feet to force multiple jump-ball tie-ups and contested shots from DeKalb. Behind strong defensive efforts from senior Lucy Bunger and sophomore Alivia Henkel, Rochelle held Gray to only two points in the second half.
“We had to get in their heads and play good defense so they would think twice about what to do next,” Lundquist said. “We talked about our desire to win and I thought we definitely wanted it more tonight. It’s definitely a confidence booster for us. I think we’re playing well and the style of basketball we’re playing is definitely something we want to continue.”
With Darby providing the fuel offensively, Rochelle took the lead midway through the fourth quarter and held the lead for the remainder of the game. Porter led all scorers with 21 points, while Gray finished with 15 points. The Lady Hubs will face Rock Falls on the road Wednesday.
The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team played its final game of the Forreston Thanksgiving Tournament this past Tuesday, falling 48-30 against Stillman Valley to move to 2-4 on the season. Junior Torrin Nantz led Rochelle with eight points in the game, while freshman Kendyl Darby and senior Zoey Tabor each totaled five points for the Lady Hub offense.