In a conference showdown in Ottawa Dec. 7, the host Pirates edged out the visiting Leafs by a score of 44-39.
“It was a physical game, but Ottawa had the advantage because they are bigger and stronger,” said head coach Brad Storm. “It (the physicality) took us out of things, and Ottawa put us where they wanted us to be. They slowed down the whole pace.”
After the first quarter of action, the game was deadlocked at 11-11, but Geneseo gained control of the lead at the half, 26-22. The Leafs posted 15 points in the second quarter and Ottawa scored 11.
Ottawa responded in the third quarter outscoring Geneseo, 12-6 to take the 34-32 lead. The Pirates scored 10 more points in the fourth quarter to the Leafs’ seven to snag the victory.
“It was close, and we had our chances to win it,” said Storm. “Ottawa had their chances, too, and cashed in. We had our chances, but we couldn’t get over that last hump. It was not for a lack of effort. Our guys battled hard. I thought we did a lot of good things and much better than Tuesday night’s (Dec. 4) effort. We got back on track, but ran into a decent team.”
Leading the offensive effort for Geneseo was Jordan Starkey, knocking down 12 points on five shots from the field and two free throws.
Luke Snyder added eight points as he hit four field goals, followed by five points from Austin Frank on a field goal and three free throws.
Kevin Wolak and Jordan Mielke each posted four points — Wolak went 2-for-2 from the line and had a free throw and Mielke scored on two field goals.
Ethan Radue, Nathan Yager and Ethan Reschke closed out the scoring with two points apiece, all off field goals.
“I think we are progressing fine, and the coaches and players need to remember it will take time. You can’t gain experience without putting the time in,” said Storm. “The development is coming. We need to keep going at a realistic pace and be patient.”
The Leafs (4-2 overall and 1-1 in the NIB 12) will host Streator tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“I want to see us be more consistent game- to-game and within a game,” said Storm. “But it is still early in the season.”