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  • Val T.

Clevenger’s 13 points, Holloway’s 4th-quarter treys help Rochester earn first win

McCarter grabs 10 rebounds, Haughs adds 9 in win over Peru


Sports Editor, RTC

Rylee Clevenger felt she needed to shoot more, and the Rochester girls basketball team benefitted from her willingness to let it fly.

Ella McCarter

Clevenger scored a career-high 13 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 5:21 left, and Rily Holloway hit a pair of 3-pointers as part of a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter to lead the Lady Zs to a 45-34 home win over Peru in their Three Rivers Conference opener at the RHS gym Thursday.

Rochester improved to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Peru fell to 1-4, 1-1.

Holloway scored six of her nine points during a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter as Rochester broke free from a 30-30 tie and took a 40-32 lead. Sydney Haughs added eight points and nine rebounds, and Ella McCarter had five points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Brianna Bennett scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for Peru.

Rochester committed only 12 turnovers while Peru had 16, and Rochester limited Peru to one free throw attempt. Rochester also held Peru’s Emma Eldridge, who came in averaging 11 points per game, scoreless.

“We knew that we were going to have to be really keyed on Bennett and Eldridge,” Rochester coach Joel Burrus said. “Our scouting report was really based around that. Bennett, she’s a heck of a player. She really makes a lot of things happen.”

Clevenger hit three 3-pointers and paced Rochester with 11 points in the first half. Her only points in the second half came on free throws, and they stunted Bennett going on a personal 8-0 run, which included two 3-pointers, that brought Peru back from a 30-22 deficit after three quarters.

Rochester scored only 20 points in back-to-back losses last week to Northwestern and NorthWood, but they had 25 points in the first half against Peru.

“Definitely,” Clevenger said when asked if she was looking to shoot more. “Our offense hasn’t been as good as it needs to be, so I was trying to focus a little bit more on getting more shots up tonight.”

After Clevenger’s free throws made it 32-30, Emma Howdeshell scored on a steal and a tough finish at the rim. Holloway poured in a 22-footer from the right of the key to make it 37-30.

Addison Robbins answered with a runner for Peru before Holloway swished another trey from the left corner.

Burrus had given Holloway a brief rest before putting her back in.

“For some reason, I thought I need to give her a minute to come out and sit and think about things for a little bit,” Burrus said. “And sometimes you say, ‘Well, I’m going to let her play through it.’ Well, I’ve been letting her play through it, so tonight, I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m going to let you get a little pine time here and think about it, and she came back out, and she was guns blazing, and her defense picked up too. … That was big.”

Rochester scored their final five points on free throws.

“We’ve been working on offense a lot in practice,” Clevenger said. “Just the guards and the post players split, so we can work on moves and finally get our open shots and just put up shots that we need to get.”

Peru came out in a man-to-man defense. Burrus said he was expecting a 1-2-2 zone. With Peru in a man-to-man, Rochester’s guards looked to get the ball in the paint more frequently. And when they did, that led to kick-out passes – from McCarter in the first quarter and from Howdeshell on two separate occasions in the second quarter – to an open Clevenger.

Rochester closed the first half on an 11-3 run to take a 25-16 lead.

“We were shocked that they came out and manned us,” Burrus said. “We worked on that 1-2-2 like dogs these past few days since the NorthWood game. I think you saw the pressure that NorthWood put on us, and you saw us in more of an attack mode. We got into the lane a lot more tonight, and we were able to get some things toward the basket tonight. I thought Syd Haughs did a really good job inside, whether it was offensive rebounding or getting a putback or something like that. She’s improving every day.”

Rochester 45, Peru 34

PERU (34) (1-4, 1-1)

Brianna Bennett 7 0-1 16, Emma Eldridge 0 0-0 0, Addison Robbins 2 0-0 4, Kaylene Kirk 2 0-0 4, Maddie Nordman 2 0-0 4, Cameryn Raber 1 0-0 3, Emily Ream 1 0-0 3, Brooklyn Garner 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 15 0-1 34

ROCHESTER (45) (1-4, 1-0)

Rily Holloway 3 1-3 9, Rylee Clevenger 4 2-2 13, Emma Howdeshell 2 2-4 6, Ella McCarter 1 3-4 5, Sydney Haughs 3 2-8 8, Maddie Heinzmann 0 0-0 0, Kallie Watson 1 2-3 4

TEAM: 14 12-24 45

Three-point field goals:

Peru 4 (Bennett 2, Ream, Raber),

Rochester 5 (Clevenger 3, Holloway 2)

Total fouls: Peru 20, Rochester 6

Fouled out: Bennett (PERU), :34.8, fourth

Turnovers: Peru 16, Rochester 12

Score by quarters

Peru 11 5 6 12 – 34

Rochester 12 13 5 15 – 45

Rochester’s Emma Howdeshell and Peru’s Brianna Bennett (4) dive for a loose ball during Thursday’s game at the RHS gym. Howdeshell scored six points in the Lady Zs’ 45-34 win. Rochester (1-4, 1-0 TRC) will host Maconaquah at 6:15 p.m./7:15 p.m. (JV/Varsity) Saturday. (photo provided by Dee Brown/RTC)

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