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  • Val T.

Wilson scores 13, but late Rochester misses preserve Judson win


Sports Editor, RTC

Aubrey Wilson

Raegan Hensley scored 16 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, and the North Judson defense forced two late Rochester missed shots in the final seven seconds to preserve a 43-42 win on the road in the season opener for both teams at the RHS gym Thursday.

Freshman Avaree Johnston scored eight points, and Kyleigh Lehiy rimmed in the game-winning 10-footer in the paint with 53 seconds left for the Lady Jays, who also hit nine 3-pointers.

Freshman guard Aubrey Wilson hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 points for Rochester before fouling out with 42.0 seconds left. Rylee Clevenger added nine, including five in the fourth quarter.

All seven players in the program scored a bucket, but Rochester also committed 19 turnovers and made just four of 11 free throws.

“I’m not happy giving up 43 points,” Rochester coach Joel Burrus said. “I don’t give a rip if it’s the first game of the season or not. We don’t do that. … With the way we play and the way we’re supposed to close out to shooters, but the first game, it’s just so tough.”

Rochester trailed by as many as seven in the fourth quarter but rallied to take a 42-41 lead when junior wing Ella McCarter knocked down a shot in the paint with 2:11 left.

North Judson missed a pair of shots before Brailyn Hunter, who scored five points earlier in the fourth quarter, airballed a 3-pointer.

Hensley missed a right corner 3, and Cailyn Tunis rebounded. North Judson called timeout with 1:13 left.

After two more North Judson offensive rebounds off misses, Howdeshell fouled with 57.4 seconds left. Lehiy worked open and hit a short pullup to give North Judson the lead.

A Tunis steal in the backcourt as North Judson applied fullcourt pressure led to Wilson picking up her fifth foul to prevent a layup.

Tunis missed both free throws, McCarter rebounded, and Rochester called a 30-second timeout with 36.9 seconds left to set up a play with Wilson now unavailable due to fouls.

The Lady Zs worked a weave with McCarter and Clevenger, but Clevenger’s shot with five seconds left was an air ball. Hunter rebounded, but Hensley blocked her left baseline 10-footer as time expired.

“We wanted to get into a set to have Clevenger, if you saw, she was trying to get off to come to the ball side and flex McCarter out,” Burrus said. “She was on the left elbow, and we wanted to flex her out, get Clevenger coming down the lane and then set a double on the other side. Mia has not played that position a lot out of that set, and Wilson is always in that spot. (Burkett) is pretty quick, and she had Mia beat to the spot, so you saw the timing get all out of whack. Then we just tried to space the floor. I didn’t want to call one more timeout because I wanted to see if we could get something off the play. Just scramble those last 15 seconds.

North Judson had more 3-point baskets (nine) than two-point baskets (seven) against Rochester’s 2-3 zone. Rochester led by as many as six points in the second quarter and led 19-17 at halftime.

They took a 22-19 lead on a Hensley 3-pointer with 5:42 left in the third quarter, which capped a 9-0 run going back to the second quarter.

Rochester would tie the game at 22 on an Audrey Bolinger free throw with 4:26 left in the third quarter, but a Lehiy 17-footer and a Kaia Burkett 3-pointer put the Lady Jays back up by five.

A Wilson 3-pointer and two McCarter free throws tied it again.

But Hensley hit another 3 and hit a tough transition runner off a steal to go back up five. Howdeshell was fouled after outhustling a North Judson player for a long offensive rebound and split a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds left in the quarter.

Hensley drained her third three of the half in the first minute of the fourth quarter to get the lead to 35-28.

“The Hensley girl couldn’t throw it in the ocean last year, and she had 17 tonight,” Burrus said. “She was not a shooter last year. She didn’t even look to shoot. … But with the way we guard, after she hit one or two, we should have got out to her better.”

Wilson hit two treys in her first varsity quarter and scored eight of Rochester’s 10 points.

Rochester also went on a 9-0 run in the second quarter on a pullup 12-footer from Clevenger, a Howdeshell 3-pointer in transition, a Clevenger transition layup off a Wilson assist and a Jadyn Field post bucket from the right block.

“Wilson, she’s a gamer,” Burrus said. “She comes into my office today, and she’s a little freaked out, and I said, ‘Wilson, you’re nervous because you care.’ It’s great. I said, ‘Now go play your tail off on defense, and those butterflies, they’ll start gurgling around pretty quick.’ I was very impressed with her.”

Bolinger and McCarter had six rebounds each to tie for team-high honors. Bolinger, Field and Wilson were all making their first career varsity starts.

“Bolinger, she’s a presence in the middle,” Burrus said. “I think she’ll only get better rebounding as well.”

North Judson 43, Rochester 42

NORTH JUDSON (43) (1-0)

Anna Garbison 0 0-0 0, Cailyn Tunis 1 0-0 3, Avaree Johnston 3 0-0 8, Kyleigh Lehiy 3 1-2 7, Raegan Hensley 6 1-3 17, Grace Craig 0 0-0 0, Kaia Burkett 2 0-0 6, McKinley Dusek 0 0-0 0, Gracie Minix 1 0-0 2

TEAM: 16 2-7 43

ROCHESTER (42) (0-1)

Aubrey Wilson 5 0-0 13, Rylee Clevenger 4 0-2 9, Ella McCarter 2 2-2 6, Jadyn Field 1 0-0 2, Audrey Bolinger 1 1-5 3, Brailyn Hunter 2 0-0 5, Mia Howdeshell 1 1-2 4

TEAM: 16 4-11 42

Three-point field goals:

North Judson 9 (Hensley 4, Johnston 2, Burkett 2, Tunis),

Rochester 6 (Wilson 3, Clevenger, Hunter, Howdeshell)

Total fouls: North Judson 18, Rochester 13

Fouled out: Lehiy (NJSP), :47.5, fourth; Wilson (RHS), :42.0, fourth

Turnovers: North Judson 15, Rochester 19

Score by quarters

North Judson 10 7 15 11 – 43

Rochester 10 9 9 14 – 42

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