‘Wat’ a game!: Kallie’s 5 treys help Rochester hold on at Maconaquah
Scorsone adds 12 points, 13 boards as Lady Zs win without Thomas
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
BUNKER HILL — Kallie Watson hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 16 points, and Millie Scorsone added 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Rochester girls basketball team earned a 45-39 win over host Maconaquah despite not having all-conference
post player Lexy Thomas on Nov. 20.
Due to construction at the main gymnasium, the game was played at the Maconaquah auxiliary gym.
Rochester survived despite Maconaquah going on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter that cut a 16-point Lady Z lead down to 43-39 on a Sydney Barnes free throw with 42 seconds left.
Watson split a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left, and Kami Burkett split a pair from the line with two seconds left to complete the scoring.
Rochester won despite committing 10 turnovers in the fourth quarter and making just 4 of 17 free throws.
Senior lead guard Lilly Maple led Maconaquah with 13 points and 15 rebounds. But the Lady Braves also struggled from the line, going 5 for 15.
Rochester improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. Maconaquah fell to 2-1, 1-1.
After going 0 for 19 from 3-point range in a loss to Peru approximately 40 hours earlier, the Lady Zs made seven treys against Maconaquah – five by Watson and two by Rily Holloway.
Rochester coach Brian Jennings rejiggered the lineup without Thomas, who was out with an injury to her midsection that has plagued her since volleyball season.
Holloway, who started against Peru and was held scoreless on Thursday, came off the bench and scored eight points this time. Scorsone, who came off the bench and was held scoreless against Peru, started this time and had a season high in points. Kennedy Jackson also started against Maconaquah after coming off the bench against Peru and scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds.
Freshmen Rylee Clevenger and Audrey Bolinger also saw varsity minutes off the bench.
Jennings said the team “toured the gym a lot” during practice on Friday, a euphemism for doing a lot of running. But the mood was more encouraging just prior to the game.
“The main thing I wrote on the board today was have confidence in yourself today,” Jennings said.
Rochester led by as many as 16 points twice in the fourth quarter. The last time came on a Holloway 3-pointer that made it 43-27 with under three-and-a-half minutes left.
Then, Maconaquah went on their run. Alexandra Merritt scored her only points of the game on a right baseline jumper.
Then Averi Miller, who hadn’t scored in the first three-and-a-half quarters, hit consecutive 3-pointers to make it 43-35.
Then Rochester committed a five-second violation. Then, Barnes banked in a 3-pointer, and Burkett missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Barnes then made her free throw, but Maconaquah did not score again. Their last three possessions resulted in an air ball, two missed free throws and a missed 3-pointer.
Maple is a four-year starter at point guard for Maconaquah, and she was a focal point of Rochester’s 2-3 zone defense.
“Our big thing was try to keep her out of transition,” Jennings said. “She is very dangerous in the open floor. And then, if there was a dead ball or a made basket, we would sprint back and get back in the lane, one person (would) pick her up, and our gaps… we were trying to squeeze it in and not give her the lane to drive and penetrate our zone. I thought we did an excellent job of not letting her really get inside the free throw line.”
Rochester jumped out to a 10-2 lead and never trailed. Watson scored as many points as Maconaquah’s entire team (6) in the first quarter, and Jackson also had a pair of field goals.
Maconaquah got within 15-14 on a Miranda Stoll 3-pointer from the left corner, but Scorsone put back her own miss to give Rochester a 3-point halftime lead.
They then went on a 14-2 run to start the second half, holding Maconaquah without a field goal for the first 9:10.
Jackson hit an off-balance banker, Scorsone scored on a post banker, Holloway hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, and Watson hit a 3-ball from the left wing after an offensive rebound.
Miranda Still hit two free throws to break Maconaquah’s 5:56 scoreless drought, but Holloway scored on a driving banker for the last points of the third quarter, and Jackson scored in the left post for the first points of the fourth. Rochester was up 31-16.
Watson said there was a difference in “energy” between the Peru and Maconaquah games. She said that even without Thomas, Howdeshell and the injured Maddie Heinzmann that Jennings reminded them they still had six players with previous varsity starting experience.
“Today was the first game without Lexy and, obviously, Emma, but Emma’s out for the whole season, so we kind of have to adapt for that, but Lexy’s a huge asset to our team, and we knew coming into today that it was going to be difficult,” Watson said. “I think it was really necessary for me to step up like this.”
Rochester also rolled in the JV game 53-25. Clevenger had 15 points, Mia Howdeshell had nine, Ella McCarter had eight, Lilith Eaton had eight, Audrey Bolinger had four, Emily Vigar had four, Elizabeth Weaver had three, Savanah Eccles had three, and Cydnie Lamb had two.
Rochester 45, Maconaquah 39
ROCHESTER (45) (3-3, 1-1)
Kami Burkett 0 1-3 1, Kallie Watson 5 1-2 16, Sydney Haughs 0 0-3 0, Kennedy Jackson 4 0-2 8, Millie Scorsone 5 2-5 12, Rily Holloway 3 0-0 8, Lilith Eaton 0 0-1 0, Rylee Clevenger 0 0-1 0, Audrey Bolinger 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 17 4-17 45
MACONAQUAH (39) (2-1, 1-1)
Averi Miller 2 0-2 6, Lilly Maple 6 1-1 13, Miranda Stoll 2 2-4 7, Alexandra Merritt 1 0-1 2, Lauren Merritt 1 0-0 2, Sydney Barnes 2 1-3 6, Bailey Carson 0 0-2 0, Courtney Stoll 1 1-2 3
TEAM: 15 5-15 39
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 7 (Watson 5, Holloway 2),
Maconaquah 4 (Miller 2, M. Stoll, Barnes)
Total fouls: Rochester 17, Maconaquah 20
Fouled out: Jackson (RHS), 6:13, fourth; A. Merritt (MAC), 0:25, fourth
Turnovers: Rochester 19, Maconaquah 18
Score by quarters
Rochester 10 7 12 16 – 45
Maconaquah 6 8 2 23 – 39
JV: Rochester 53, Maconaquah 25