- Val T.
Rochester jumps out to 22-4 lead, cruises to 7th straight win
Holloway hits 4 treys, scores 16 against Wabash; Jackson, Watson also score in double figures
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WABASH — Rily Holloway scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter, and Kennedy Jackson and Kallie Watson also scored in double figures to lead the Rochester girls basketball team to a 55-39 win over host Wabash at Coolman Gymnasium Saturday.
Jackson had 12 points, all in the first half. Watson had 10, including four of the Lady Zs’ six points in the fourth quarter.
Rochester won their seventh straight game and improved to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the Three Rivers Conference.
Rylee Yoakum led Wabash (3-7, 0-2) with 13 points. Libby Mattern, who was coming off a 21-point outing in her previous game against Bluffton, was held to five.
Rochester made eight 3-pointers while Wabash made none. Rochester had four field goals in the second half, all 3-pointers.
Rochester has won the last four meetings against the Lady Apaches, including last year’s sectional quarterfinal at Manchester.
Rochester jumped out to a 22-4 lead and never trailed. Holloway hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Lexy Thomas also scored six points in the first quarter.
Rochester coach Brian Jennings said the outside shooting early helped set up the Lady Zs’ inside game. Moving the ball from one side of the court to the other led to those open outside looks.
“I think the biggest thing is we really worked in our morning practice today, getting the ball reversed,” Rochester coach Brian Jennings said. “And I think they found out really early when we reverse the ball, we get really open shots. I think that was the main thing as far as working to get a shot for Rily, we just did an excellent job of getting the ball reversed against their 2-2-1 press and again against their 2-3 zone.
“And then with Kennedy … when we hit a couple of 3s, they extended their zone out, and she would just flash to that high post, and we got her the ball right there, and she made a couple of nice drives to the basket, got some good buckets and got to the free throw line a little bit.”
Yoakum and Linda Cordes each had five points in the second quarter as Wabash cut the lead to 35-22 at halftime.
Holloway, Watson, Sydney Haughs and Lillith Eaton each hit treys in the third quarter as Rochester maintained a 49-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Watson made all four of her free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. As a team, Rochester made 79 percent of its free throws (15-19).
A strong fourth quarter defensively meant that Rochester has held their last nine opponents under 40 points. That’s the longest streak of such games since the 2015-16 team, which was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season, did it in 14 straight games.
“I think we came out with a lot of energy in that first quarter,” Jennings said. “The offense was going well, and we didn’t give them many opportunities to score. We were kind of face-guarding Mattern. We wanted to take her away early, and that seemed to get them a little bit out of their rhythm in that first quarter. The second quarter, they made some really good adjustments, and when they scored points, they got to set up in their 2-2-1 fullcourt defense, and the turnover bug started hitting us a little bit.
“If we had a downfall tonight, we relaxed too much in that second quarter and really let them back in the game. And I think even in the third quarter, I think they might have had it down to a six-point game possibly at one point. And then we hit a couple of timely 3s and stretched it out.”
The JV game also went to Rochester 46-23. Audrey Bolinger led the Lady Zs with 10 points.
Rochester 55, Wabash 39
ROCHESTER (55) (9-3, 3-1)
Kami Burkett 0 0-0 0, Rily Holloway 5 2-2 16, Kallie Watson 2 4-4 10, Kennedy Jackson 4 4-5 12, Lexy Thomas 2 4-6 8, Sydney Haughs 1 0-0 3, Lilith Eaton 1 1-2 4, Millie Scorsone 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 16 15-19 55
WABASH (39) (3-7, 0-2)
Libby Mattern 2 1-2 5, Jade Stumbo 2 0-0 4, Rylee Yoakum 4 5-8 13, Linda Cordes 3 3-6 9, Brook Westendorf 1 0-0 2, Ashley Province 0 0-0 0, Hannah Layne 1 0-0 2, Kierra Wilson 1 0-0 2, Kasey Long 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 15 9-16 39
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 8 (Holloway 4, Watson 2, Haughs, Eaton),
Total fouls: Rochester 15, Wabash 19
Score by quarters
Rochester 22 13 14 6 – 55
Wabash 4 18 14 3 – 39
JV: Rochester 46, Wabash 23