The Geneseo girls’ basketball team started 2013 off on the right foot as the Lady Leafs captured two conference wins on the road after they returned from the holiday break.

The Geneseo girls’ basketball team started 2013 off on the right foot as the Lady Leafs captured two conference wins on the road after they returned from the holiday break.

Geneseo vs. Dixon

It took extra time to declare the winner of the Geneseo/Dixon contest Jan. 8 in Dixon, and when the final buzzer sounded it was Geneseo who prevailed with the 52-43 victory.

“We struggled in the first half a bit playing Dixon’s pace of the game, but we really picked up the defensive pressure and sped up the game to where we wanted it,” said head coach Scott Hardison. “In overtime, we went 9-of-16 from the line and won a good conference game on the road.”

Geneseo grabbed the early 10-9 lead in the first quarter, but Dixon countered in the second with 11 points to Geneseo’s eight to take the 20-18 advantage into the half.

After the break, the Lady Leafs outscored Dixon, 16-7 to regain control of the lead, 34-27. Dixon managed to tie the game up at 39-39 at the end of regulation with 12 points to Geneseo’s five.

“We knew coming in that Dixon’s Bailey was the best player in the conference, and we knew we had to identify her, but we let her get going a little more than we would have liked,” said Hardison. “In the second half, we put more pressure on her and made her work harder. I think she was worn down in overtime.”

In overtime, the Lady Leafs put up 13 points and held Dixon to only four to nab the conference victory.

Emily Ford led the way for Geneseo as she raked in 19 points with seven field goals, a three pointer and two free throws.

Jamie DeFauw chipped in 13 points of her own as she knocked down six shots from the field and a free throw; while Molly DeBrock scored nine on three field goals and three free throws.

“Jamie is being more and more consistent and we really tried to pound the ball into her inside,” said Hardison. “She really stepped up and carried us.”

Darci Dietrich added six points as she hit two field goals and two free throws, followed by Kaylie Piekos who went 3-for-6 from the line for her three points, and Anna Wise with two points off two free throws.

“I think we really started playing together as a team,” said Hardison. “We had a coming together moment at the State Farm Classic, and the girls have really bought into the team concept and that was evident last night.”

Geneseo vs. LaSalle-Peru

The Lady Leafs returned to conference action Jan. 4 with a bang as the girls knocked off host LaSalle-Peru, 48-36 on the road.

“The key was playing as a team again after our break,” said Hardison. “We only had five people score, but all five were very balanced, they executed things and looked at the hoop. Everyone did their part and that helped us against L-P.”

After a low-scoring first quarter where Geneseo took the 6-3 lead, the Lady Leafs put 17 points on the board in the second quarter and held L-P to seven for a 23-10 score at the half.

In the third quarter, L-P outscored Geneseo, 17-13, but the Lady Leafs managed to hold on to the lead, 36-27. Geneseo capped off the win with 12 points in the fourth quarter and L-P scored nine to give the Lady Leafs the 12-point victory.

Leading the way for Geneseo were DeBrock, Wise and DeFauw, all raking in double figures.

DeBrock posted 12 points as she knocked down four shots from the field and four free throws; Wise hit a three pointer, two field goals and three free throws for her 10; and DeFauw sank four field goals and two free throws for 10 points.

Ford and Dietrich added eight points apiece — Ford sank a shot from beyond the arc and went 5-for-8 from the line, and Dietrich scored on three field goals and two free throws.

“I think we have gotten use to the pace of play,” said Hardison. “We have really adjusted and they a growing as a group and a team.”

The Lady Leafs (9-10 overall and 3-2 in the NIB 12) will be on the road this weekend at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12 against Morris.