LAKEVILLE — There were plenty of things for LaVille fans to feel good about in the Lady Lancers’ game with Rochester Friday night. It’s just that a win wasn’t one of them.
LaVille weathered an early storm to get back in the game after a slow start, broke Rochester’s press with relative ease, played solid defense in a newly-implemented 2-3 zone, hung tough in the battle of the boards, worked the ball inside on offense.
But the home team couldn’t overcome a 12-for-53 shooting effort from the field, and the Zebras retook their final lead of the night at the 4:56 mark of the fourth quarter, converting 11 of 14 free throws in the final frame to keep LaVille winless 45-41 at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
“We had a good defensive spurt in there. We’ve got some potential out there. The kids are still working hard,” said Lady Lancers head coach Kevin McCullough. “The kids battled. You just can’t shoot 12-of-53. We spend a lot of time shooting. We practice shooting.
“I told somebody if we had less than 19 (turnovers) today we would have won, but you can’t shoot 12-for-53 and win the game. It just ain’ t happening.
We just ran out of time. I’m giving credit to the other team.”
The Lancers got off to a slow start, knocking down only one of 13 attempts from the field in the first quarter. Rochester forward Breanne Paulik went 4-for-5 from the field for eight points, meanwhile, and the Zebras put up six second-chance points to grab a 12-4 lead at the quarter break.
LaVille rallied back to within one with 10 straight points in the second quarter, however, as Amanda Carbiener sparked the run with a wing triple at the 6:07 stop and capped it off with a putback at the 2:42 mark to cut the deficit to 16-15.
The Lancers took their first lead of the night, 26-24, with 52 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Hannah Herbster after the junior forward grabbed her own rebound. The two teams swapped leads three times after that, but Rochester reclaimed the advantage for the last time on a Becky Malchow charity toss with 5:23 remaining in the game. The Zebras finally stretched the lead to two possessions with Paulik’s one-and-one with 1:41 on the clock, and the visitors held off LaVille at the line to move to 2-1 with their second straight win.
Despite Rochester’s fullcourt pressure throughout the night, LaVille turned the ball over a manageable 14 times compared to 25 turnovers by the Zebras. Rochester enjoyed a slight advantage in the battle of the boards with 39 rebounds compared to 30 by LaVille, led by Paulik’s game-best 13 caroms.
“It doesn’t feel any better than the 20 points we got beat last week or the 10 points we got beat the first game,” said McCullough. “But we made some good plays out there.”
Rochester was led by junior Paulik’s double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds.
“They were helping in with the guards (on Paulik),” said Rochester head coach Tony Stesiak. “I thought we did a better job of making the adjustment of moving the ball away and keeping other people involved. Murphy made some nice plays, skipped the ball over the top and looked for her. I thought she played almost like a senior. She kept her composure, especially at the end. She knew what to do with the ball. She may not have hit all her shots, but I thought she took good shots.”
The Lancers were paced by a double-double of their own as Herbster scored 10 points with 11 rebounds.
“For the second game in a row she came off the bench and led us in scoring. She has a positive attitude, she plays hard when she’s out there,” said McCullough.
LaVille also saw double-digit production from senior forward Katie Berger, who put up 11 points, including seven during the decisive fourth quarter.
The Lancers won’t have much time to dwell on the loss as they travel to Culver Academy for a game tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“We set this up because this happened to us once where we had to play Tuesday, Friday and Saturday to win the sectional,” McCullough said. “We set it up early in the year to let the kids keep it in their mind. It’s a way to get a game in. Because we do it like this last week we had three days of practice, this week four days of practice, so that’s a positive. We’ve had two good weeks of practice. The kids are getting better. Now I expect them to keep getting better.”
• ROCHESTER 45, LaVILLE 41
Score by quarter
Rochester: 12 20 26 45
LaVille: 4 17 26 41
ROCHESTER (45): Rylee Holland 1 0-0 2, Keaton Stesiak 0 0-0 0, Becky Malchow 0 1-2 1, Breanne Paulik 9 3-5 21, Alexa Holland 1 6-6 8, Lindsay Mitchell 0 0-0 0, Riley Pfeiffer 0 0-0 0, Raeann Hunter 1 3-4 5, Karli Murphy 3 2-3 8; Totals: 15 13-15 45.
LaVILLE (41): Kelsey Gurtner 1 4-7 6, Paige Hawkins 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Leed 2 0-0 5, Kyla Coblentz 0 0-0 0, Hannah Herbster 3 6-10, Katie Berger 5 0-2 11, Lynae Hostrawser 0 0-0 0, Amanda Carbiener 2 0-0 5, Lauren Hostrawser 0 0-0 0; Totals: 12 10-19 41.
3-pointers: Rochester 0, LaVille 4 (Herbster 2, Berger, Leed); Turnovers: Rochester 25, LaVille 14; Rebounds: Rochester 39 (Breanne Paulik 13), LaVille 30 (Herbster 11); Assists: Rochester 8 (Holland 3), LaVille 4; Steals: Rochester 12 (Holland 3, Smith 3, Holland), LaVille 9 (Herbster 2, Coblentz 2); Fouls (fouled out): Rochester 15 (none), LaVille 16 (none).
Records: Rochester 2-1, LaVille 0-3
JV score: Rochester 50 (Alexa Holland 12, Keaton Stesiak 11), LaVille 14 (Sydney Good 6)