ROCHELLE – The final plays of the first quarter of Tuesday's boys basketball game between Geneseo and Rochelle pretty much told the story of the Northern Illinois Big 12 cross-over game.|
As the buzzer sounded to end the frame, Rochelle's Matt Rosenwinkel knocked down a trey from mid-court. The shot followed a Geneseo turnover when the ball was dribbled off Rosenwinkel's head.
It was that kind of night for the visiting Maple Leafs, who were handed an 85-55 drubbing here at Rochelle Township High School
"It wasn't pretty from the start," Geneseo coach Brad Storm said after his club dropped to 9-14. "It was really disappointing. We didn't compete very hard and I thought we were afraid. They out- hustled and played harder than us."
Geneseo lost the turnover battle (23-12) and the battle on the boards (30-28). Geneseo shot a respectable 44 percent (21-for-47), but paled in comparison to Rochelle, which shot 58 percent (32-for-55). Rochelle was 14-for-22 from 3-point range, bolstered by Grant Prusator hitting 9-of-13 from beyond the arc en route to his game-high 31 points.
"We didn't hustle and we were flat footed," Storm said. "Some guys looked disinterested in being on the court. That's really hard to take as a coach at this point of the season. You're hoping you're starting to gel, but on the other hand, this happens."
Jordan Starkey led the Leafs with 13 points. Ethan Reschke scored nine and Austin Frank had seven points and six rebounds.
"We got to try and get things fixed quick," Storm said. "We're at the point where we have the two conference games left in our division that we want to win. We aren't going to win either one of them playing the way we did tonight. As coaches and players, we need to do a little soul searching and figure out why the performance was the way it was tonight."
It was easy to see why Rochelle (10-17) had the success it did and it had everything to do with Prusator and Rosenwinkel.
Prusator. a senior, scored 17 of the Bubs' 26 first-quarter points and had 23 by the break as the hosts already led 48-22.
"It was really the first time for most of this year that I got it going early," Prusator said. "The team kept giving me the ball, so I have to praise them for that."
This was one of Prusator's first chances to get off to good start. Most of the 2012-13 season, he has been watching from the sidelines with an MCL injury. Returning at the beginning of January.
"He missed a lot of games," Rochelle coach Tim Thompson said. "With him back, we're finally starting to come around and shoot the ball well."
Rosenwinkel -- who had 14 points -- missed a big chunk of the season with a high ankle sprain.
"It's the team I thought I had at the beginning of the season," Thompson said. "We're working better as a team now that everyone is healthy. I was pleased, tonight, with our defense and the way we shot the ball."
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