The Geneseo girls’ basketball team was on a bit of roller coaster this past week as the girls nabbed sole possession of the conference title, but later had their season come to an end at regionals.
Geneseo vs. Galesburg
After finding themselves in a hole early Feb. 14, the Lady Leafs clawed their way back, but couldn’t hold on as Galesburg defeated Geneseo, 67-59 in the first round of regionals.
“Really, we kind of panicked in the first four minutes and didn’t handle Galesburg’s pressure,”?said head coach Scott Hardison. “Once we caught our breath and executed what we wanted to, we took over the game and played at our pace. In the fourth quarter, we just ran out of gas because we had to get ourselves out of a 20-point hole.”
The Silver Streaks jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter, but the Lady?Leafs closed the gap at the half, 37-29. Geneseo outscored Galesburg, 21-18 in the second quarter.
Geneseo came out in the third quarter and knocked down another 20 points and held Galesburg to nine to take the 49-46 advantage.
Galesburg responded in the fourth quarter with 21 points to steal the win and send Geneseo home, while the Lady Leafs scored 10.
“One of the things I said in the locker room was, at the beginning of the season, we would have quit if we were down 20, but these girls have matured and realized nothing in life isn’t worth doing if you don’t give 100 percent. They believed that and came back,” said Hardison.
Devan Griffin led the team with a triple-double in what was her final game for the Lady Leafs as she netted 16 points, 20 rebounds and 14 blocks. Griffin knocked down six shots from the field and four free throws for her 16.
“Devan had a great game for her to go out on,” said Hardison. “Whereever she goes, they will get a heck of a player next year.”
Kelsey Nystrom also added 16 points as she drained a shot from beyond the arc, three field goals and seven free throws; while Kaci Storm chipped in 11 points on four field goals and three free throws.
Olivia Goethals added eight points to the effort with three field goals and two free throws, while Alex Radue, Emily Ford, Jamie DeFauw and Kassi Anderson all contributed two points — Radue, DeFauw and Anderson scored on one field goal apiece, while Ford went 2-for-4 from the line.
Geneseo vs. Dixon
Geneseo was locked in a tight battle with host Dixon Feb. 9 in NIB 12 action as the Lady Leafs looked to clinch sole possession of the NIB 12 crown.
It took four quarters and a few extra minutes in overtime, but the Lady Leafs prevailed with a 45-42 victory and the NIB 12 Championship.
Page 2 of 3 - “Dixon has been playing very well recently, and we were very tired after the Ottawa game on Wednesday,” said Hardison. “I give the girls credit because they were able to take care of business, but it may not have been in the prettiest way.”
The game was tied at 7-7 after the first quarter and then Geneseo gave itself a little cushion with a five-point lead at the half, 16-11. The Lady Leafs scored nine points in the second quarter and held Dixon to four.
Dixon cut Geneseo’s lead to three in the third quarter, 28-25 as the hosts put up 14 points to Geneseo’s 12. Dixon posted another 11 points in the fourth quarter and held Geneseo to eight to tie the game at 36-36 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, the Lady Leafs managed to edge Dixon, 9-6 for the win.
Leading the offensive effort for Geneseo was Griffin and Anderson, both in double figures, with Griffin netting 13 points and Anderson 11.
Griffin hit six field goals and a free throw for her 13, while Anderson knocked down five shots from the field and also one free throw.
Goethals added eight points, which included four of the team’s nine in overtime as she went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and also had a field goal. Nystrom chipped in seven points, all from the free-throw line as she sank 7-of-10.
Storm finished the game with four points off two field goals, while Ford hit a field goal for two points.
Geneseo vs. Ottawa
The Lady Leafs were on a mission Feb. 8 when they squared off against Ottawa. Geneseo was out for a bit of revenge and on a quest to claim a share of the NIB 12 title.
The Lady Leafs managed to accomplish both as the girls got back at Ottawa, who beat them earlier in the season, with a 46-35 victory on the Pirates home turf.
“We were able to shut down Ottawa’s Kelcie Rombach, and Kassi took care of Allie Miceli on the inside,”?said Hardison. “We were confident with our defense.”
Both squads came out in the first quarter and put up seven points for a 7-7 tie. The Lady Leaf gained control of the game 17-9 at the half after Geneseo put up 10 points and almost held the Pirates scoreless, except for two free throws.
Geneseo maintained its advantage in the third quarter as the Lady Leafs posted 13 points to Ottawa’s 10 for a 30-19 lead.
Both squads knocked down 16 points in the fourth quarter to give Geneseo just enough to grab the 11-point victory.
Geneseo’s starting five were the only players to find themselves in the scoring column Wednesday night.
The duo of Griffin and Nystrom led the way, both in double digits.
Page 3 of 3 - Griffin posted 13 points as she drained 7-of-9 from the free-throw line and three field goals, while Nystrom raked in 12 points as she knocked down one shot from beyond the arc, two field goals and five free throws.
Storm chipped in eight points of her own on three field goals and two free throws, while Goethals added seven points on two field goals and three free throws. Anderson rounded out the scoring effort with six points as she hit three shots from the field.
The Lady Leafs end their season 24-5 overall and 9-1 in the NIB 12.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls and the way they adapted,”?said Hardison. “We made some changes and for a group of eight girls who have been playing in the program for three years to believe in what we are doing says a lot about their character. They have done their school proud.”