Who’s the Haughs?: Junior’s strong 4th quarter lifts Rochester past turnover-prone Plymouth
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
After going 1-2 at the Twin Lakes Invitational last week, Rochester coach Brian Jennings said he wanted to get back to playing better defense.
The Lady Zs executed Jennings’ defensive plan and did so against an old friend Wednesday, pulling out a 48-38 win over Plymouth at the RHS gym.
Sydney Haughs scored seven of her team-high 10 points in the fourth quarter for the Lady Zs, including the go-ahead free throws with 4:50 to give Rochester a 37-35 lead.
She added a 3-pointer from the left corner off a Millie Scorsone pass from the high post to give Rochester breathing room at 40-35.
It was all part of a game-closing 18-3 run over the final 6:54 for the Lady Zs. The 10-point margin of victory represented Rochester’s largest lead.
Plymouth had three field goals and nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. They had 24 turnovers for the game.
Lexy Thomas had nine points and eight rebounds. Kami Burkett added seven points, and Scorsone, Kennedy Jackson and Rily Holloway had six each.
Sara Hunter, Plymouth’s long-armed 5-10 senior guard, led all scorers with 11 points, but she was shut out in the second half. Leading scorer Taylor Delp, who came in averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds, was held to two points and eventually fouled out with 31.8 seconds left. Clare Sheedy, who came in averaging eight points per game, was also shut out in the second half.
Rochester played zone for much of the first half but mixed in more pressure and man-to-man in the second half.
“We just kind of changed,” Jennings said. “I think going into the game, we were concerned about their two post players (Delp and Sheedy). So we wanted to pack in a zone. … We felt we needed to do something different defensively a little bit versus being so passive sitting back in that zone. So we started picking up man to man.
“I felt we could pressure their guards, but I just didn’t want to get beat in the full court and then an easy pass to their post players. But I thought our guards did an excellent job: Kami and Kallie (Watson) and Syd and Rily just kept that pressure on. They really didn’t get beat off the dribble, and I think we bothered them enough that they kept their head down and couldn’t feed their post players. A little pressure goes a long way.”
Rochester improved to 11-6 and beat their second Class 4A opponent in as many games. They were coming off a win over Logansport in the seventh-place game at Twin Lakes a week ago.
Plymouth dropped to 8-7.
The fourth quarter started auspiciously for Plymouth. Delp scored on a putback, and senior reserve Madie Mann hit a 3-pointer from the right wing in early offense to give Plymouth a 35-30 lead with 7:16 left. Mann’s 3-pointer capped a 10-0 run dating back to the third quarter.
Rochester responded with an 11-0 run.
Thomas used a nifty drop-step move in the post for a 3-point play to make it 35-33. Scorsone’s 15-footer on an inbounds play tied it.
Then came Haughs’ free throws, which came right after she stepped into a passing lane and stole Sophie Miller’s pass after Thomas had missed a pair of free throws and Miller rebounded.
“Our defense was much better,” Haughs said. “In the first half, we did a 2-3, and I think (Jennings) was expecting a little more out of us. We weren’t doing it, so he put us in a man, and when we go to man, we know what Jennings expects from a man, and that’s to be more aggressive.”
Plymouth first-year coach Micaela Schalliol said turnovers plus missed box-outs in the fourth quarter spelled doom.
“A lot of mental mistakes,” Schalliol said. “We need players who will want the ball in their hands and demand their presence. On top of the turnovers in the fourth quarter, Rochester getting the o-boards – us not boxing out, pursuing the rebound – definitely gave Rochester a lot more possessions than we wanted them to have. And that’s why we lost.”
A Burkett steal preceded Haughs’ 3-pointer.
Plymouth was in a zone, and Scorsone and Jackson work in practice on looking for shooters when they draw a crowd. The practice paid off as it got Haughs an open look.
“Millie and Kennedy see the pass out to the wing really well now,” Haughs said.
Jennings said Haughs’ contribution was symbolic of the entire team being adaptable to different roles.
“It’s just nice,” Jennings said. “We put Syd in the starting lineup tonight. She’s been playing fairly well. Just constant and steady and a good rebounder for us. We brought Holloway off the bench tonight because she’s been struggling shooting, and as soon as she gets in the game, she hits a big 3 for us. It’s just people stepping up and doing their job across the board.”
With the Lady Zs up 41-37 and in a fullcourt press, Burkett deflected Hunter’s inbounds pass and Watson pounced on it underneath the basket and laid it in to push the lead to six.
Plymouth took the JV contest 42-34. Audrey Bolinger scored 10 points to lead Rochester. Rylee Clevenger had eight, Mia Howdeshell had six, Darah Strasser had five, Ella McCarter had three, and Cydnie Lamb had two.
Rochester girls basketball notes
This marked the teams’ first meeting in four years and Rochester’s first win over Plymouth in six years. Schalliol (nee Box) is a 2016 Bremen grad who played with Jennings’ daughter Alexis Waldron in high school.
“A very, very long time,” Schalliol said when asked how long he’s known Jennings. “I played with Alexis in high school. She moved to Bremen when she was in middle school. It was great to play with her in high school. I actually would travel with Brian and Alexis just to go watch Whitney Jennings (Brian’s niece and Alexis’ cousin and the 2014 Miss Basketball from Logansport) play while she was in college. We would travel to Big Ten tournaments together, so we’ve seen and talked a lot of basketball together. It was fun to coach against him.”
Scorsone was back after missing the Twin Lakes Invitational due to illness.
Rochester 48, Plymouth 38
PLYMOUTH (38) (8-7)
Sara Hunter 4 2-2 11, Ellie Jones 1 0-0 2, Lena Jones 1 0-0 2, Taylor Delp 1 0-4 2, Clare Sheedy 2 0-0 4, Keiara Himes 0 0-0 0, Madie Mann 2 1-2 7, Kaylee Dragani 0 1-2 1, Sophie Miller 4 1-3 9
TEAM: 15 5-13 38
ROCHESTER (48) (11-6)
Kami Burkett 2 2-4 7, Kallie Watson 1 2-4 4, Sydney Haughs 2 4-4 10, Lexy Thomas 3 3-5 9, Millie Scorsone 2 2-2 6, Rily Holloway 2 0-0 6, Lilith Eaton 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Jackson 3 0-1 6
TEAM: 15 13-20 48
Three-point field goals:
Plymouth 3 (Mann 2, Hunter),
Rochester 5 (Haughs 2, Holloway 2, Burkett)
Total fouls: Plymouth 17, Rochester 14
Fouled out: Delp (PLY), :31.8, fourth; Jackson (RHS), :18.9, fourth
Turnovers: Plymouth 24, Rochester 17
Score by quarters
Plymouth 9 10 11 8 – 38
Rochester 8 11 11 18 – 48
JV: Plymouth 42, Rochester 34
Watch Full JV and Varsity Games Here: