Holloway scores 12, but Rochester falls to Layden, Northwestern
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
McKenna Layden scored 29 points, and the Northwestern defense held Rochester scoreless for a 5:49 span of the first half en route to beating the Lady Zs 55-38 in a girls basketball game at the RHS gym Wednesday.
Layden, a 6-1 junior who has verbally committed to play at Purdue, outscored the entire Rochester team 15-14 in the first half. She hit four 3-pointers but also scored on the inside.
Bailey Newell added three 3-pointers and had nine points for Northwestern, who improved to 3-1.
Rily Holloway came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points for Rochester, who fell to 1-2. Kennedy Jackson and Millie Scorsone added nine points each. Scorsone, who only played the second half for disciplinary reasons related to a technical foul she received against Caston in the previous game, also had seven rebounds.
Rochester never trailed after the first quarter in their season-opening win against North Judson, but they never led at any point in back-to-back losses to Caston and Northwestern.
The Lady Zs played without junior point guard Emma Howdeshell, who suffered a right knee injury against Caston on Saturday. RHS coach Brian Jennings said that Howdeshell underwent an MRI earlier Wednesday and that they are awaiting the results.
And then the hurting continued: Maddie Heinzmann, a reserve junior wing, went down with a right knee injury with 28.8 seconds left in the first quarter and did not return.
Kami Burkett and Kallie Watson handled the ball with Howdeshell out.
“We had to make some adjustments just for the fact of the things that Northwestern does and their size,” Rochester coach Brian Jennings said. “I thought Kami did an excellent job of bringing the ball up. She’s played that point guard, and it’s kind of the next man up. It’d have been nice to have that little more heads-up guard out there tonight, but Emma’s 5-3 Going up against the giants that they had, she probably would have struggled tonight.”
Layden scored Northwestern’s 13 points. She hit two 3-pointers and then registered a 3-point play off a putback of her own miss. Then she scored on a layup and then another layup off a give-and-go play after an inbounds pass.
That made it 13-4.
“Obviously, McKenna has the green light,” Northwestern coach Kathie Layden said. “So if she’s open from the 3, she has the green light to take it.”
A steal in the middle of the floor and a coast-to-coast finish in transition for Lexy Thomas got Rochester within 15-8 with 1:06 left in the quarter.
Then came the Rochester drought.
Layden dropped in a reverse layup to trigger a 15-0 run. Jackson scored in the post to break the drought, but by then, Northwestern led 30-10.
Northwestern not only had Layden, but they also featured 6-0 post player Leah Carter and 6-0 wing Lexi Hale.
“I think they gave Lexy some troubles because you kind of get past one, and there’s another,” Jennings said. “I think the other thing we focused on in practice is we had to throw bounce passes in the post, and a lot of times, we like to throw lob passes in the post, and with one six-footer in front and one behind, it took that from us offensively tonight.”
Northwestern also relies on their height, using down screens to free weak side cutters for open shots close to the basket.
“But I really think their height on the offensive end, throwing those back side lobs … hurt us more,” Jennings said. “Their height hurt us more on their offense than their height did on their defensive end.”
The lead was 33-14 at halftime, and the Lady Tigers then went on a 14-2 run to start the second half.
Layden scored on a high-low finish. Then she hit a trey from the left corner. Then she split a pair of free throws. Then she stole an inbounds pass and outraced the Rochester defense for a basket in transition.
A Holloway bucket broke that run, but Layden and Newell hit 3-pointers to make it 47-16.
“We were trying to take the 3-pointer away from Layden, but when we’re closing out with 5-5, it didn’t really bother her,” Jennings said.
The deficit never got smaller than the 17-point final margin.
“We know they’re well coached,” coach Layden said of Rochester. “We know they’re a scrappy team. They move the ball well offensively. They run some good stuff. I knew we were going to have to shoot the ball well, and like I said, defensively, it was important for us to be able to execute our defense too. So they’re a really tough team.”
Earlier Wednesday, the Rochester JV handled Triton 40-17. Rylee Clevenger scored 10 points, Audrey Bolinger had eight, Ella McCarter had six, Darah Strasser had five, Lilith Eaton had three, Mia Howdeshell had three, Lilly Watson had three, and Cydnie Lamb had two.
Northwestern 55, Rochester 38
NORTHWESTERN (55) (3-1)
Ashley Newell 3 0-0 9, McKenna Layden 11 3-5 29, Anna Bishir 1 0-0 2, Lexi Hale 3 0-0 6, Leah Carter 2 0-2 4, Makenna Adams 0 0-0 0, Kendal Ziems 0 0-0 0, Bailey Henry 1 0-0 2, Savanah Lipinski 0 3-4 3, Berkeley Wray 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 21 6-11 55
ROCHESTER (38) (1-2)
Kami Burkett 1 0-0 2, Kallie Watson 1 0-0 3, Sydney Haughs 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Jackson 3 2-2 9, Lexy Thomas 1 1-2 3, Rily Holloway 5 1-2 12, Maddie Heinzmann 0 0-0 0, Lilith Eaton 0 0-0 0, Millie Scorsone 4 1-2 9
TEAM: 15 5-8 38
Three-point field goals:
Northwestern 7 (Layden 4, Newell 3),
Rochester 3 (Holloway, Jackson, Watson)
Total fouls: Northwestern 11, Rochester 11
Turnovers: Northwestern 22, Rochester 22
Score by quarters
Northwestern 17 16 17 5 – 55
Rochester 8 6 13 11 – 38
JV: Rochester 40, Triton 17
Watch entire game here:
Rochester sophomore guard Lillith Eaton brings the ball up court during the Lady Zs’ 55-38 loss to Northwestern at the RHS gym Wednesday. Rochester (1-2) will host NorthWood at noon/1:30 p.m. (JV/Varsity) Saturday. (photo courtesy of Dee Brown)