After falling behind 38-27 at the end of the third quarter to visiting Morris Jan. 19, the Geneseo boys' basketball team battled back in the fourth, but the Leafs' effort fell just shy as Morris pulled out the 48-43 win.
At the end of the first quarter, the Leafs and Redskins were locked at 14-14. Morris gained control of the lead at the half, 29-18, after the Redskins put up 15 points and held Geneseo to only four in the second quarter.
"It was the second quarter this time," said head coach Brad Storm. "The third quarter we played Morris even and the fourth quarter we outscored them. It was the second quarter that we just didn't win. It is frustrating because we are showing we are good enough to beat these teams, but it just comes down to a certain quarter. No one has the answer for why we can't consistently play better and win some of these games."
Both squads scored nine points coming out of the break to make it a 38-27 ball game at the end of the third. The Leafs fought their way back in the fourth as they outscored the Redskins, 16-10, but it wasn't enough to steal the win.
"Basically, our sense of urgency comes too late," said Storm. "We need to play with a sense of urgency early on to make sure we are not in that situation of having to come back that way.
"Literally, we have been a couple of plays away each game from having a better record."
Jordan Starkey paced the Leafs with 14 points as he hit four field goals, a three pointer and went 3-for-4 from line.
Ethan Radue chipped in 13 points as he knocked down two shots from beyond the arc, three field goals and a free throw; followed by Luke Snyder with eight points as he drained four shots from the field.
Kevin Wolak and Jordan Mielke rounded out the scoring effort for the Leafs with four points apiece. Wolak scored off of two field goals, and Mielke sank 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
The Leafs (7-10 overall and 3-2 in the NIB 12) will host Ottawa tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will be on the road at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 against Yorkville.
"Ottawa is playing really, really well and haven't lost a game since mid-December," said Storm. "They are a physical team and aggressive offensively. It is a tough match up, but they also are a team we can play with. This is an important game for us. This is a game between two teams that want to stay in the conference race. One will and one won't.
"Consistency — that is the bottom line, and playing hard and well for all four quarters."