Girls Basketball: Lady Hubs stay #LivStrong on Senior Night

Senior athletes honored as Rochelle scores 45-21 win Monday evening

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ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team had the Rochelle community and the school behind it as the purple and white took the court against Sandwich on Monday.

With Senior Night setting the stage for a nonconference showdown against the Indians, the Lady Hubs rallied together as they played without senior teammate Alivia Henkel, who was sidelined due to medical reasons. But the Rochelle team competed with tremendous energy as the community, along with students, staff and administrators, showed their support with No. 23 jerseys as well as special T-shirts that features phrases such as “Luv 4 Liv” and “#23Strong”.

The Lady Hubs fed off the energy in the packed gymnasium Monday evening, dominating the opening quarter and cruising for a 45-21 win over the Indians. Rochelle (12-16, 2-8 Interstate 8) honored all of its seniors players, including Henkel along with Kennedy Adamski, Loretta Atkinson, Kara Martinez, Sydney Tabor, Megan Seebach, Kylie Smith, Bailey Vondergathen, Anna Toczylowski and manager Macenzie Glosser, in a brief ceremony before the game.

“The community coming out was really cool to see,” head coach Jon Gehm said. “I had goosebumps before the game and they showed their support when everybody was called out for Senior Night. I told the girls after the game that, given the circumstances and what we’ve gone through over the last few days, that was the most proud I’ve ever been of a team. Their hearts are in two places and they’re trying to fight through. They did a nice job of that tonight.”

Russell Hodges

The Lady Hubs controlled the game from the opening tip, as Rochelle drained four first-quarter triples and stifled the Sandwich offense, holding the Indians to just two field goals over the first quarter. Seniors accounted for three of the 3-point baskets, with Martinez drilling a pair while Atkinson banked in a triple from the elbow. The Lady Hubs led 20-4 after the opening quarter.

“I’m very grateful for all of the seniors,” Gehm said. “They’re on their third head coach in four years and they could’ve easily said to themselves that they wouldn’t listen to me when I got hired. But they bought in and they’ve given everything they have to the coaching staff and to each other. I’m so proud of them and they bring it every single day, which is the best part.”

Seebach buried Rochelle’s fifth 3-pointer of the game during the second quarter, helping the Lady Hubs command a 29-8 halftime advantage over the Indians, who were on the verge of finishing under the 20-point mark until a layup late in the fourth quarter. Rochelle effectively sealed its win during the third quarter, where sophomore Jaydin Dickey took over with a series of defensive stops and a flurry of field goals including a 3-pointer and back-to-back layups. 

Dickey finished with 12 points for the Lady Hubs, while Martinez totaled a team-high 14 points after sinking her third triple of the game midway through the third quarter. Seebach recorded seven points and junior Kendyl Darby ended the game with seven points while going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. Rochelle will close out the regular season against Dixon on Thursday.

“We played really hard tonight,” Gehm said. “We were flying around and we were making plays… It’s huge for our girls and we could feel the energy coming from our bench. We needed a win like this and we needed a moment like this where the community came out to support and the student section did too. The girls really appreciated it and they fed off of the energy.”