A win doesn’t come for three: Lady Zs go 0-for-19 from 3, fall to Peru
Thomas notches double-double in loss
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
PERU — Cate Wolfe scored 11 points, and Brianna Bennett added 10, and the Peru girls basketball team’s defense held visiting Rochester without a 3-point make in 19 attempts on their way to a 39-27 win at Tig-Arena Nov. 18.
Lexy Thomas scored a game-high 19 points for the Lady Zs, and she made it a double-double with 11 rebounds. But it could not prevent Rochester’s first loss to Peru since the schools became conference rivals in the 2015-16 season.
Peru improved to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Rochester fell to 2-3, 0-1.
Thomas had nine of the Lady Zs’ 11 field goals. Kennedy Jackson, who had seven points, had the other two.
But with Bennett and Cameryn Raber roaming the outside of the 2-3 zone and the three players behind them clogging the lane, Rochester was left with 3-point looks that clanged off the rim.
And playing for the third straight game without junior point guard Emma Howdeshell, who is out for the season with a knee injury, Rochester committed 22 turnovers.
Thomas, a 5-10 senior post player, negotiated the traffic in the lane productively, but Rochester trailed by double digits the entire fourth quarter.
Rochester coach Brian Jennings said poor shot selection led to the poor shooting percentage.
“We know our best shot is when the ball comes from the post to a kick out (pass),” Rochester coach Brian Jennings said. “The game plan going in was you’ve got to go in and touch the post player first before we shoot 3s. And we were shooting 3s off the dribble. We were shooting 3s off of perimeter passes. But to me, that’s really not the worst of our game that we played tonight.
“We lacked total effort. We did not focus on the defensive end. We weren't focused at all. And I think that’s the most disappointing out of this group right now. We got some real competitive players on this team, but we’re not playing as a team. We’re playing as a bunch of individuals. … We’ve got to get better in a lot of different areas.”
Peru closed out the first quarter on a 12-2 run to build a 14-6 lead, and they never trailed again. Rochester got as close as four points on three different occasions in the second half. The last time came at 22-18 when Thomas hit a banker in the post.
But Emma Eldridge hit a pullup in the lane off the bounce, Madisyn Nordman and Bennett hit two free throws each, and Nordman scored on a putback to get the lead to 30-18 going into the fourth quarter.
Peru then sealed the game by making seven of eight free throws in the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers made more free throws (13) than Rochester attempted (8). Wolfe went 6 for 6 from the line.
“We had Brianna Bennett out for two games,” Peru coach David Weeks said. “She’d been out with a concussion. So having her back to run the floor for us and handle the ball was a big key for us. I thought our defense was right on. They were getting to the spots they were supposed to and doing their best to take away all their options.”
The JV game went to Rochester 32-18. Rylee Clevenger led Rochester with nine points, Audrey Bolinger had eight, Mia Howdeshell had six, Lilly Watson had four, Savanah Eccles had three, Ella McCarter had two, and Elizabeth Weaver had one.
Peru 39, Rochester 27
ROCHESTER (27) (2-3, 0-1)
Kami Burkett 0 0-0 0, Rily Holloway 0 0-0 0, Kallie Watson 0 0-0 0, Lexy Thomas 9 1-2 19, Sydney Haughs 0 0-0 0, Lilith Eaton 0 1-2 1, Kennedy Jackson 2 3-4 7, Millie Scorsone 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 11 5-8 27
PERU (39) (2-3, 2-0)
Brianna Bennett 3 4-4 10, Emma Eldridge 2 1-2 5, Cate Wolfe 2 6-6 11, Cameryn Raber 2 0-0 5, Kaylene Kirk 0 0-0 0, Madisyn Nordman 2 2-2 6, Katlyn Converse 0 0-0 0, Jenna Watkins 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 12 13-14 39
Three-point field goals:
Peru 2 (Wolfe, Raber)
Total fouls: Rochester 14, Peru 8
Turnovers: Rochester 22, Peru 15
Score by quarters
Rochester 6 7 5 9 – 27
Peru 14 4 12 9 – 39
JV: Rochester 32, Peru 18
Watch full game here: