Girls Basketball: Timely shots evade Lady Hubs against Genoa-Kingston

Tabor scores 14 points, makes three 3-pointers in 38-33 loss to Cogs


ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball team continued playing tough defense on Saturday, limiting the Genoa-Kingston Cogs to three first-quarter points. But the Lady Hubs were unable to knock down enough key shots during the second half, with Genoa-Kingston eventually pulling away to defeat Rochelle 38-33. The Lady Hubs fell to 6-9 overall with the loss.

“The area where we have to be better is hitting the big shots when we have the opportunities,” head coach Ryan McQuade said. “We had a lot of opportunities to hit those shots this afternoon and we had a chance to tie the game near the end. We just have to calm down when we’re in those situations. We’re not going to win many basketball games when we’re scoring 33 points.”

Junior Torrin Nantz converted two shots under the basket in the first quarter for four of her six points to give the Lady Hubs an early spark offensively. Leading 9-3 entering the second quarter, Rochelle saw freshman Kendyl Darby score on two aggressive drives to the basket, while senior Zoey Tabor canned the first of her three 3-pointers to keep the Lady Hubs moving.

“Our ball pressure has been what’s really helped us bring our defense to the forefront of how we want to play,” McQuade said. “Our guards are really bringing the pressure. It’s about cleaning up the little things like getting defensive rebounds and preventing second-chance points. Those are the things that will take us from a good defensive team to an elite defensive team.”

Genoa-Kingston successfully regained the lead in the second quarter, rallying behind senior guard Emily Gilbert and freshman forward Ally Poegel, who combined for 27 points to lead the Cogs on Saturday. Genoa-Kingston led 18-15 at the half and the Cogs surged ahead by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, but Tabor’s hot shooting continued in the second half, where she made two 3-pointers and multiple free throws. Tabor led Rochelle with 14 points.

“Zoey’s our senior captain and she’s been fantastic,” McQuade said. “It was one of her better shooting performances and we’ve been waiting for that because she’s such a good shooter. It was definitely nice to see her come through and shoot the ball well for us today.”

The Lady Hubs fought back within two points of the Cogs, trailing 32-30 late in the fourth quarter. Genoa-Kingston struggled to make free throws in the final minutes, but Rochelle couldn’t gather enough defensive rebounds to tie the game on the other end, eventually putting the Cogs into the double bonus while both Tabor and Darby, who scored eight points, fouled out.