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  • Val T.

NM’s Hanley gets 1,000, but Lady Zs stay unbeaten in TRC

Clevenger hits 4 treys in the second half, Field adds 11


Sports Editor, RTC

Rylee Clevenger

Rylee Clevenger hit four 3-pointers in the second half and scored a game-high 14 points, and Jadyn Field added 11 points and eight rebounds to help the Rochester girls basketball team stay unbeaten in Three Rivers Conference play in a 38-28 win over visiting North Miami at the RHS gym Thursday.

Kaiden Hanley, a Holy Cross College recruit, scored 13 points to lead North Miami. She came in needing five to reach 1,000 points for her career, and she achieved the milestone on a 3-pointer from just off the left corner with 3:56 left in the half. She finished the game with 1,008 career points.

Rochester improved to 7-6 overall and 5-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Whitko and Lewis Cass are the other two unbeatens in the conference, and they will meet at Lewis Cass Saturday.

Rochester’s next game is a road game against Clinton Central Wednesday. Their next two TRC games are at Whitko Jan. 6 and home with Lewis Cass Jan. 13.

North Miami, who will seek their third straight sectional title later this season, dropped to 4-5, 2-2.

“This was a good early Christmas present for me,” Rochester coach Joel Burrus said.

With 3:13 left in the half, officials briefly stopped the game so Hanley could be presented with a game ball and take a photo with coach Lori Working and varsity assistant Nathan Curtis.

But no other North Miami player scored more than five points. Emily Smith, the team’s other senior beside Hanley, did not score and fouled out with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

North Miami never led at any point during the game, and though they forced seven Rochester turnovers in the fourth quarter and 19 for the game, they still could not cut into the lead.

A halfcourt pass from Clevenger hit Field in stride in transition for a layup and another Clevenger assist to Aubrey Wilson for a 3-pointer were the finishing blows as the lead reached 36-24 with 2:17 left.

North Miami came in averaging 45 points per game. The 28 in this game were a season low.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Burrus, a 2006 North Miami grad, said. “(Coach) Working, she does a great job with them, and they play their tails off. Hanley has been a pain in the butt for a lot of people. Her dad, I’ve known them for a long time. Her uncle (Joe) was in my wedding. I’ve got a lot of relationships over there. Her dad played football at IU, Michael Hanley. … She’s a load though to prepare for. She’s darn near six-foot, and she covers so much ground defensively.”

Said Clevenger: “Our goal was to keep her and Musall out of the lane. They have more of a lane game rather than shooting 3s. Even though both of them can hit 3s, they like to drive more, so we knew we had to stop them from getting paint touches.”

Clevenger scored Rochester’s first nine points off the second half as they built the lead to 23-16.

With Rochester still clinging to a 28-22 lead in the fourth quarter, she drilled another open 3 from the right wing to get the lead to nine.

“For me personally, I kept shooting a lot more, and I got a lot more open looks,” Clevenger said of the difference between the first and second halves. “I would relocate down if somebody would drive because we attacked a lot more in the second half. … We had a better post game definitely tonight as well.”

North Miami plays a 1-3-1 zone with Hanley on top. Rochester had seen Argos play a similar 1-3-1 against them in a 59-34 loss on Dec. 7.

Burrus called the team’s offensive performance against Argos a “nightmare.” He said he wanted forwards Field and Audrey Bolinger to get more touches since.

“We went back to the drawing board, and we said we’ve got to work inside out against the 1-3-1,” Burrus said. “So we go Argos against a 1-3-1, Wabash against a 1-3-1. We felt like we were really prepared for that tonight, but the issue was none of those people have Hanley on the point of that defense. So we knew tonight, we were glad we had faced it the two previous games, but now, it’s like, OK, we’ve got to deal with Hanley, but we faced it the two previous games, so let’s see how we do facing that for a third time.”

If opposing teams have to mind Field and Bolinger in the post, that can create 3-point opportunities for Clevenger, according to Burrus.

“Her size at times, it kills her,” Burrus said of the diminutive Clevenger. “But we have to find ways, and with these posts, if we have them and they’re doing things, eventually, they’re going to have to start helping down on those posts.”

Working was unavailable for comment after the game.

Rochester 38, North Miami 28

NORTH MIAMI (28) (4-5, 2-2)

Emily Smith 1 0-0 2, Victoria Masters 2 0-0 5, Laney Musall 1 2-2 5, Kaiden Hanley 6 0-0 13, Kayden Donaldson 0 2-4 2, Kiearra Springer 0 1-2 1

TEAM: 10 5-8 28

ROCHESTER (38) (7-6, 5-0)

Aubrey Wilson 1 2-2 5, Rylee Clevenger 5 0-0 14, Ella McCarter 1 2-2 4, Jadyn Field 5 1-1 11, Audrey Bolinger 1 0-1 2, Brailyn Hunter 1 0-0 2, Mia Howdeshell 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 14 5-6 38

Three-point field goals:

North Miami 3 (Hanley, Masters, Musall),

Rochester 5 (Clevenger 4, Wilson)

Total fouls: North Miami 17, Rochester 18

Fouled out: Smith (NM), 3:34, fourth

Turnovers: North Miami 13, Rochester 19

Score by quarters

North Miami 4 9 7 8 28

Rochester 8 6 14 10 38

Left: Rochester freshman Jadyn Field grabs a rebound away from North Miami senior Emily Smith (11) during the third quarter of Thursday’s game at the RHS gym. Field had 11 points and eight rebounds in Rochester’s 38-28 win. Smith committed her fifth foul on the play. (photo courtesy of Dee Brown)

Middle: Rochester junior Mia Howdeshell attempts a 3-pointer during the Lady Zs’ 38-28 win over North Miami at the RHS gym Thursday. (photo courtesy of Dee Brown)

Right: Rochester junior post Audrey Bolinger (25) tries to dribble around North Miami freshman Kayden Donaldson (21) during the Lady Zs’ 38-28 win at the RHS gym Thursday. Rochester remains one of three undefeated teams in the Three Rivers Conference. (photo courtesy of Dee Brown)

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