MORRIS — Holding an opponent under 30 points normally results in a victory for the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team. That wasn’t the case Monday evening, however, when the girls locked themselves into a defensive battle on the road against the Morris Redskins.
While the Lady Hubs held a 19-16 lead at halftime, Rochelle mustered only seven points in the second half, allowing the Redskins to slowly come back and eventually take the lead late in the third quarter, where Morris limited the Lady Hubs to just two points. Despite a strong effort from junior Zoey Tabor, who led Rochelle with 10 points and nine rebounds, Morris emerged victorious on its home floor, winning 28-26 and dropping the Lady Hubs to 2-3 overall.
“Zoey was attacking the basket really well and she was able to finish well around the rim,” head coach Tony Rowan said. “She has a knack for finding rebounds and securing the ball with both hands, especially on the defensive side where she can initiate our push. It was one of those nights for us where we struggled to score in multiple areas. Holding Morris to 28 points speaks volumes about our defense, but we need to find more contributors on offense.”
Although Morris didn’t exceed 10 points in any quarter on Monday, Rochelle struggled to find the basket, shooting 18 percent from the field and finishing 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Senior forward Afi Gati spearheaded the charge on defense, notching three steals and grabbing eight rebounds for the Lady Hubs, who will play at Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. Junior Josie Lundquist totaled nine points and senior Alexis Sanford recorded two steals in the game.
“We really ramped up our pressure again,” Rowan said. “We ran our full-court pressure and tried to force as many mistakes as we could. I thought we ran our half-court defense really well, but we did give up a few offensive rebounds in the first quarter that led to points.”
The Rochelle Lady Hub JV basketball team defeated Morris on Monday, winning 30-22 and improving to 1-3 on the season. The JV girls will play Ottawa on Wednesday at 5 p.m.