ROCK FALLS – The fourth quarter of Thursday night’s Big Northern Conference matchup between Rock Falls and North Boone took all of 8 minutes.
A running clock was put into effect for the final quarter, as the Rockets used a suffocating press to rack up steals and transition buckets in a 70-19 rout of the Vikings at Tabor Gym.
North Boone (2-11, 0-5 BNC) finished with 30 turnovers, but few came on passes that were too high or wide of their intended target. Instead, it was the Rockets’ active hands that swiped 21 steals – with most of them coming before the Vikings crossed half court.
“We just weren’t able to break their press and trap,” North Boone coach Kirstin Johns said. “We couldn’t handle the pressure. Some days we show up and can handle the ball, and others we can’t.”
Equally impressive was the fact that every player in the Rock Falls lineup scored.
“It wasn’t a goal, but if it happens, great,” Rock Falls coach Eric Wolf said. “We’ve been striving to move the ball as a team, and take the best available shot instead of over-passing or turning it over.”
Kylie Fischbach and Molly Buck led the way with 14 points apiece.
Fischbach scored all of her points in the first half, including a pair of three-point plays – the latter putting the Rockets up 39-15 at intermission.
“I just knew I needed to be aggressive and get after this team,” Fischbach said. “I’m trying to improve myself, and this was a good game to do that.”
Fischbach swiped a team-high five steals, while Buck made the most of her five rebounds and three steals – often going coast-to-coast for layups.
“We were moving the ball really well, and that helped,” Buck said. “Playing good defense and getting steals helps the offense, too.”
Bree Johnson hit three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws for 11 points. Kenzie Olson and Bailee Reynolds each scored six points for the Rockets; Karli Fischbach, Miranda Hewitt and Kennedy Shaw each added four; all three of Arleth Diaz’s points came from the free-throw line; and Elise Moeller and Abi Peyton had two points apiece.
Rock Falls (16-8, 4-0) scored the first 14 points of the game. North Boone marked the scoreboard with 1:18 left on a baseline jumper by Lulu Marx, but the Rockets answered with 3s by Buck and Johnson.
Fourteen first-quarter turnovers by the Vikings helped Rock Falls jump out to a 20-5 lead after one.
Eight more North Boone turnovers in the third quarter made it 58-17 Rockets. Peyton scored on a driving layup after a steal, and picked up a sweet assist after finding Shaw for a transition layup to make it 50-17 midway through the third.
Buck made a floater, Karli Fischbach recorded a putback, Moeller scored on a layup, and Buck beat the buzzer with a layup to close the quarter.
The Rockets made 24 shots from the field, three times as many as the Vikings. Kaylee Witte led North Boone with team highs in points (11), rebounds (6) and steals (3).
Rock Falls 70, North Boone 19
Star of the game: Kylie Fischbach, Rock Falls, 14 points (all in 1st half), 5 steals
Key performers: Molly Buck, Rock Falls, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals; Bree Johnson, Rock Falls, 11 points, 3 3-pointers, 3 assists, 3 steals; Kaylee Witte, North Boone, 11 points (all in 1st half), 6 rebounds, 3 steals
Up next: Rock Falls at Rockford Christian, 7 p.m. Tuesday