It was not the way the Geneseo boys’ basketball team wanted to kick off the New Year as the Leafs suffered a 60-44 loss on the road to LaSalle-Peru Jan. 4.
“That was not the way we wanted to start,” said head coach Brad Storm. “L-P is good and play pretty well at home. We did a good job in the first half, but, in the second half, L-P increased the intensity level and we didn’t match it.”
The Cavaliers opened the game with a 13-11 lead in the first quarter and held on to a four-point advantage at the half, 26-22. L-P scored another 13 points to Geneseo’s 11 in the second.
L-P began to pull away in the third quarter as the Cavaliers outscored Geneseo, 16-9 for a 42-31 score. L-P closed out the game in the fourth quarter with 18 points to the Leafs’ 13.
“L-P got out to a quick, short lead, but we bounced back and I felt good at halftime only down four,” said Storm. “I told the team L-P would come out and play hard in the second half. Once we didn’t do that, L-P got the lead, our guys forced things and it snowballed.”
Austin Frank led the Geneseo offense with 11 points as he knocked down five shots from the field and a free throw.
Jordan Starkey added nine points as he drained 5-of-6 from the line and two field goals, followed by Luke Snyder with six points on two field goals and two free throws.
Grant Burress, Ethan Reschke and Nathan Yager finished the game with five points apiece — Burress and Reschke hit two field goals and a free throw, and Yager sank a shot from beyond the arc and a field goal. Ethan Radue also knocked down a trey for his three points on the night.
“L-P was the better team that night, but if we play with the same level of intensity as they did, they might not have been,” said Storm. “They are not 16 points better than us. They just wanted it more and got all the loose balls and out rebounded us.”
The Leafs (6-8 overall and 2-2 in the NIB 12) will be on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m. against Dixon.
“Dixon is a young team, but have improved a lot,” said Storm. “They are not the Dixon of the last few years. Plus, it is on the road, and we have only won one game on the road this year. We need to buckle down and be mentally tough to win on the road.
Page 2 of 2 - “This is a must win for us if we want any hopes of being at the top at the end. I see two teams that will go at it pretty hard. We need to increase our level of intensity and execute our stuff. When we do what we want to do, we do well, but when we go away from it, we struggle.”