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  • Val T.

Field, Clevenger score 11 each, but Lady Zs fail to win 3rd straight vs. Plymouth


Sports Editor, RTC

Rochester junior guard Rylee Clevenger looks to score after driving past Plymouth’s Sophie Miller during Wednesday’s game at the RHS gym. Clevenger tied for team-high scoring honors with 11 points, but Rochester lost 44-39. (photo provided by Dee Brown)

A third straight win for the Rochester girls basketball team remained elusive against visiting Plymouth at the RHS gym Wednesday.

Lena Jones hit two crucial 3-pointers in the second half and scored 11 points, and Sophie Miller and Rylee Mann added 10 each as Plymouth recovered to win 44-39.

Jadyn Field and Rylee Clevenger had 11 points each for Rochester. Ella McCarter had six points, all in the first half. She also had 12 rebounds.

The Lady Pilgrims improved to 7-8. Rochester fell to 9-8.

Plymouth had not beaten a team with a winning record prior to Wednesday, but Rochester still has not won three consecutive games since a five-game streak in November 2022.

“These guys just got done playing Hamilton Heights and Huntington North,” Rochester coach Joel Burrus said of Plymouth. “They were coming in here to clean our clock. We gave them all they wanted, but there’s no moral victory. I’m sick that we got beat, but there’s a lot of things that we have to look at that we’re right there.”

Plymouth had an eight-point lead in the third quarter

Rochester freshman post player Jadyn Field shoots over Plymouth’s Rylee Mann during the Lady Zs’ 44-39 loss at the RHS gym Wednesday. Field had 11 points and five rebounds. Rochester travels to Whitko at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. (photo provided by Dee Brown)

before Rochester came back to lead by two, the last time at 31-29 on a Jadyn Field layup with 1:07 left. She was fouled on the play but missed the free throw with a chance to extend the lead, and Jones hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put Plymouth back ahead. The Lady Pilgrims never trailed again.

Field tied it on two occasions. She split a pair of free throws with 11.8 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game at 32, and she hit a left baseline jumper from 15 feet off a McCarter assist with 4:02 left to tie it at 34.

But Jones answered by burying a 3 from the right corner to make it 37-34. When Miller poked a defensive rebound out of McCarter’s hands and scored on an up-and-under move, the lead was five.

Clevenger found an open Field for a layup, but Jones whipped a pass to Miller over the top of the defense to make it 41-36.

McCarter missed a driving layup from the left wing, and Tynley Gantz rebounded for Plymouth. Rochester then had to give five fouls to get Plymouth in the bonus, which bled 15 seconds off the clock.

Jones split a pair of free throws before Clevenger hit a 3 to make it 42-39. Miller sunk two free throws with 12.7 seconds left to complete the scoring.

Gantz banked in a 3-point missile to give Plymouth a 23-15 lead in the third quarter, but Clevenger answered with her own 3.

Miller hit a 15-footer from the left baseline to make it 25-18, but Rochester’s offensive rebounding took hold: Field scored on a putback, Aubrey Wilson put back her own miss, and Bolinger scored on another putback to make it 25-24 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.

Mann scored on a transition layup, but another Bolinger putback and a Wilson 3-pointer gave Rochester their first lead since it was 6-4 in the first quarter.

The offense became more post-centric in the third quarter, according to Burrus.

“Honestly, I thought we attacked,” Burrus said. “We got a lot of good looks tonight. We just didn’t have some fall. I liked the way we attacked. We got some good looks. … I thought the posts were very active tonight. Obviously, Bolinger and Field, we want to get them the ball. … But I told the guards, if you guys are attacking and drawing two, now that’s what opens the post. If we drive that baseline and we get our shoulders by our initial defender, the help comes from the post. We were able to do that some tonight and then obviously, we were able to get to the nailhead and get to the elbow at times and make that pass down there too. I thought the posts were active though.”

But Mady Sullivan immediately answered with a long jumper from 18 feet to tie it at 29.

“We knew it would be a tight game just because of the discipline and the physicality that they show day-in and day-out,” Plymouth coach Micaela Schalliol said. “The ball got a little loose from us in that third quarter, and that’s where they closed that gap and got back in that game. I would have love to extend that lead in that third quarter, but our girls did a great job of playing the possessions game in the fourth quarter, making sure we were boxing out, securing rebounds and making nice, crisp bounce passes against that zone.”

Neither team led by more than three points in the first quarter.

Rochester would tie it at 11 on a Clevenger trey, but two fast break buckets – a Jones steal and layup and a Mann 3-pointer – sparked a 7-0 Plymouth run to make it 18-11.

“I told the girls, I said, ‘They’re coming out and getting all over us to start the game,’” Burrus said he told the team, anticipating that Plymouth would want to push the pace based on a pregame talk with Schalliol.

Burrus later graded his team’s transition defense a “B to B-minus.”

A Brailyn Hunter putback and a McCarter 10-foot banker on an inbounds play made it 18-15, but Wilson picked up her third foul on a charge nearly 40 feet from the basket with 27.7 seconds left in the half, and Miller hit a 12-footer from the right baseline with 15 seconds left in the half to give Plymouth a 20-15 halftime lead.

Plymouth 44, Rochester 39

PLYMOUTH (44) (7-8)

Mady Sullivan 1 0-0 2, Lena Jones 4 1-2 11, Tynley Gantz 1 3-3 6, Sophie Miller 4 2-4 10, Rylee Mann 4 1-1 10, Eva Sheedy 1 0-0 2, Alana Allen 1 1-4 3

TEAM: 16 8-14 44

ROCHESTER (39) (9-8)

Aubrey Wilson 2 0-0 5, Rylee Clevenger 4 0-0 11, Ella McCarter 3 0-0 6, Jadyn Field 5 1-3 11, Audrey Bolinger 2 0-0 4, Brailyn Hunter 1 0-0 2, Mia Howdeshell 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 17 1-3 39

Three-point field goals:

Plymouth 4 (Jones 2, Mann, Gantz),

Rochester 4 (Clevenger 3, Wilson)

Total fouls: Plymouth 10, Rochester 14

Fouled out: Wilson (RHS), :12.7, fourth

Turnovers: Plymouth 10, Rochester 12

Score by quarters

Plymouth 11 9 12 12 44

Rochester 8 7 17 7 39

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