Boys Basketball: Rochelle rallies past HampshireHampshire's Shane Hernandez looks to score against the defense of Rochelle's David Newton during regional action on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2012 11:00PM
Turnovers down the stretch helped Rochelle complete a rally for a 59-57 victory over Hampshire in Tuesday’s second semifinal of the Rochelle Class 3A Regional.
Hampshire used a combination of outside shooting and the inside muscle of Tyler Watzlawick to lead throughout the first half and all the way until the end of the third quarter when the Hubs grabbed their first lead of the contest at 46-45.
While the Whip-Purs were able to regain a couple of advantages including a 55-52 with 1:15 left to be played, a Hampshire turnover was followed by a pair of Rochelle free throws and then the Whips tried a fullcourt inbound bomb only to lack a receiver giving the Hubs the ball with 1:03. That’s when Matt Rosenwinkel hit an 11-footer from the left side for a 56-55 lead.
Third-seeded Hampshire was hoping to regain the lead only to step on the baseline and that was followed by another pair of Hub free throws as Grant Prusator made both ends of a one-and-bonus for a 58-55 advantage with 15.9 seconds left on the clock.
After a missed three-point attempt, Rosenwinkel made the first of two free throws with 8.2 seconds to seal the deal at 59-55. The Whip-Purs did get a late putback from Luke Wians to account for the final tally.
“We just turned the ball over too many times,” said Hampshire coach Bob Barnett. “Things got a little physical, especially in the third quarter.”
That’s when Hampshire was limited to just seven points after having led 16-11 following the first quarter and 38-31 at intermission.
“I don’t know what we were from the line (8-of-14), but I know it wasn’t good enough,” Barnett added. “There’s got to come a point in time when we learn to take care of the ball, make better decisions. It was a tough ballgame and getting outscored by 12 at the line didn’t help.”
Second-seeded Rochelle, which improved to 21-8 and faces top-seeded Kaneland (16-10) in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. title contest, converted 19-of-24 at the charity stripe and had four in double figures led by David Newton’s 17 with 16 from Rosenwinkel, 12 from Prusator, and 11 from Derek White.
The Whips, whose season ended at 17-11, were led by Watzlawick’s game-high 22 points. He exits as the school’s all-time leading scorer. Tyler Crater added 16 points and Brock Ralphs netted 10.
“I’m still proud of the team ending the year on a 15-4 run. Watz certainly played hard and Luke (Wians) made a big push toward the end of the year. I certainly thank the seniors, the rest have a lot to learn. I hate to see (the season) go, but it’s gone,” said Barnett, who notched his 400th career win during this campaign.