ROCHELLE — Rochelle Lady Hub varsity basketball coach Ryan McQuade knows his team will endure some tough losses as he works to rebuild the program in his first season. Rochelle faced perhaps its toughest opponent of the season Friday in the unbeaten Sycamore Spartans.
Behind 21 points and five 3-pointers from St. Thomas commit Faith Feuerbach, Sycamore cruised over the Lady Hubs in Interstate 8 action, holding Rochelle to two first-half field goals for a 63-22 victory. Senior Adriannah Davis-Carter led the Lady Hubs (5-7, 0-2 Interstate 8) with 10 points, making both of the team’s field goals in the first half and adding a 3-pointer late in the second half.
“It’s tough to be aggressive offensively against a team like Sycamore,” McQuade said. “They guard so well, but I thought Adriannah was our player of the game because she was fantastic on both sides of the floor. She played without fear tonight and even though Sycamore’s one of the favorites in Class 3A, we have to play without fear and I thought Adriannah did that.”
Sycamore’s perimeter defense prevented Rochelle from finding any driving lanes during the first half. The Spartans scored on several transition layups while pushing the ball after missed shots from the Lady Hubs, building an 18-1 lead after the first quarter before surging ahead 35-6 at halftime. Freshman Kendyl Darby stepped up for the Lady Hubs in the second half, showing aggression and converting three field goals at the rim for six points off the bench.
“I’m seeing sparks from Kendyl,” McQuade said. “The challenge with Kendyl being a freshman is figuring out how to piece together those sparks to make a fire because when she does that, she’s extremely talented and we can use that at the varsity level. Seeing both Adriannah and Kendyl come off the bench and have strong performances will be good for us going forward.”
Sophomore guard Lexi Carlsen and 6-foot-4 junior forward Evyn Carrier combined for 21 points to help lead Sycamore on Friday. The 9-0 Spartans led Rochelle 57-12 after three quarters. Senior Jordin Dickey scored three points on one 3-pointer, while seniors Abby Luxton and Zoey Tabor combined for three points.
“We’re growing as a program and we look to teams like Sycamore and Winnebago, who we played earlier in the year,” McQuade said. “We want to emulate those types of programs and the way we’ve been coming together as a team, I think that we’re on our way.”