Bazzoni’s baskets in final minute help hand RHS first TRC loss
Rogers leads Lady Zs with 11, but Lady Squires overcome go-ahead 3-pointer
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
NORTH MANCHESTER –- When Kaitlin Rogers hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left, the Rochester girls basketball team had a 37-35 lead on Manchester.
A world in which they were 8-0 in the Three Rivers Conference was conceivable.
The problem was they just couldn’t stop Eva Bazzoni.
Bazzoni scored a game-high 14 points, all in the second half, including the game-tying and game-winning baskets in the final 44 seconds, to lift Manchester to a 39-37 win over the Lady Zs Saturday.
Emma Garriott added 11 points for Manchester, who improved to 9-11 overall and 5-3 in the TRC.
Bazzoni’s runner in the lane with 6.6 seconds left was the game-winner.
After each team called timeout, RHS attacked the basket, but Manchester’s Kindra Stetzel blocked Emma Howdeshell’s runner in the lane just before time expired.
Rogers led RHS (9-7, 7-1) with 11. She scored six of the team’s eight points in the fourth quarter.
Lexy Thomas had seven points and 10 rebounds, soldiering on despite suffering an apparent back injury after a hard fall going for a rebound in the third quarter.
Despite having a height advantage, RHS could not score in the paint in the second half. All four Lady Z field goals in the second half were 3-pointers. Thomas, Emily Hughes and Millie Scorsone – RHS’ top three post players – had two points combined in the second half.
“I think the pressure they put on our wings and guards out there is one that took away the looks,” RHS coach Brian Jennings said. “I told our post players at halftime when we got the ball (inside) in the first half, we weren’t making that initial contact on the post up, so when we did catch and get bumped, now we missed the shot. I said we’ve got to get in there and make that initial contact to them, catch and finish. We just couldn’t get the ball in there all night long.”
RHS committed nine of their 17 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
“We went a little bit more man,” Manchester coach Josh Troyer said of the defensive adjustment. “I thought they were hurting us a little bit. We were kind of getting lost with them a little bit in the zone. And my assistant said, ‘Hey, let’s try some man-to-man and see if that gets us a little bit of a spark,’ and really, we were able to stay matched up and not lose them as much. It helped us really on the bigs as well. I thought our 1-2-2 would do a little bit better job of that, but really our man I thought did a really good job of that in the second half, and we really competed at keeping the ball out of the middle.”
Meanwhile, Manchester hit four treys in the first half but none in the second half. But Manchester outscored RHS 23-14 in the second half after falling behind by seven at halftime and trailing 29-21 after a Howdeshell 3-pointer in the third quarter.
Manchester took their first lead of the second half when Bazzoni made a free throw with 2:45 left after officials hit Jennings with a technical foul with 2:45 left. Jennings strongly disputed a traveling call on Thomas, arguing that Thomas fell to the floor because she was fouled.
Kim Batten had a steal but missed a layup. After a held ball, Garriott missed after a Eurostep move in the lane. After an exchange of turnovers, Rogers drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing.
But Bazzoni answered right back with 44 seconds left.
“I think they just were more patient,” Jennings said. “In the first half, I think they rushed things a little bit and helped us a little bit. In the second half, I think they looked for her a little bit more and got her the ball where she was effective at, and we just lost track of her. We said in the first half and even early in the game, we lost track of her for a couple of shots early. And when we keep losing track of their best player, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Jennings also said that his team gave up way too many offensive rebounds in the second half.
“We just didn’t go after the basketball,” Jennings said. “We sat there and relied on somebody else to go get the ball. I can’t explain it. We didn’t have people step up. We didn’t have people be aggressive. We were too passive all night long on penetration, and when we did penetrate on offense, the kick-out was there, and we didn't even try to kick the ball out.
“We just didn’t take very good looks tonight.”
Manchester also won the JV game 27-26. Kylie Coleman had nine points, Kallie Watson had seven, and Lilli Eaton and Madison Heinzmann had five each.
Manchester 39, Rochester 37
ROCHESTER (37) (9-7, 7-1)
Emma Howdeshell 2 0-0 6, Sydney Haughs 1 0-0 3, Lexy Thomas 2 3-4 7, Kaitlin Rogers 3 2-2 11, Millie Scorsone 2 0-0 4, Kallie Watson 0 0-0 0, Kim Batten 0 0-0 0, Emily Hughes 1 2-2 4, Mercedes Brown 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Jackson 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 12 7-8 37
MANCHESTER (39) (9-11, 5-3)
Emma Garriott 4 1-2 11, Keilan Creager 0 0-0 0, Eva Bazzoni 6 2-4 14, Morgan Parrett 0 0-0 0, Makenzy Meyer 0 2-2 2, Beletu Stout 1 0-0 3, Ainsley West 3 0-0 7, Kindra Stetzel 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 15 5-8 39
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 6 (Rogers 3, Howdeshell 2, Haughs),
Manchester 4 (Garriott 2, West, Stout)
Total fouls: Rochester 10, Manchester 10
Technical foul: Rochester bench, 2:45, fourth
Turnovers: Rochester 17, Manchester 18
Score by quarters
Rochester 10 13 6 8 – 37
Manchester 10 6 11 12 – 39
JV: Manchester 27, Rochester 26