The Geneseo and Ottawa girls' basketball teams kept their Jan. 18 NIB 12 contest close throughout most of the game until the visiting Pirates pulled away in the fourth to earn the 56-48 win.
"We had the lead the whole first half, and I think the atmosphere and big crowd spurred us on, but we went into a dry spell in the third quarter," said head coach Scott Hardison. "If we would have made those buckets, it would have been a totally different game. We need to try to get through those stretches so we don't have so long between baskets."
Geneseo grabbed the first lead of the game in the first quarter, 10-9 and after the Lady Leafs posted 17 points in the second they took a 27-25 advantage into the locker room at the half. Ottawa scored 16 points in the second quarter.
The Pirates came out in the third quarter and out shot the Lady Leafs, 14-8 to nab the 39-35 lead. In the fourth quarter, Ottawa put up another 17 points, while Geneseo scored 13 for the 56-48 final.
"I am happy with where we are at, but not satisfied," said Hardison. "Ottawa is a very good team, and we made them play every second to make them beat us."
Darci Dietrich and Jamie DeFauw teamed up for 25 of the team's 48 points. Dietrich led the team with 13 points as she sank six shots from the field and a free throw; while DeFauw put up 12 on six field goals.
"I thought our girls inside carried us," said Hardison. "Darci had a double-double, and Jamie was in double digits, but we are still looking for that depth to find a third to play in the middle. Jamie and Darci are working against each other in practice to make each other better and they excel because of the other girl on the floor."
Molly DeBrock added nine points as she went 3-for-3 from the line and had three field goals, followed by Anna Wise with eight points as she hit two field goals and four free throws. Emily Ford finished with six points off a triple, a field goal and a free throw.
The Lady Leafs (10-11 overall and 3-4 in the NIB 12) will be on the road this weekend against Yorkville at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 26.
"We have seen Yorkville once before, so we have to watch film, make adjustments and execute our game plan to beat them," said Hardison. "Yorkville is one of our losses so it would be nice to get them the second time. We are really going to try to take out the aggressive game play from Ottawa and bring it to Yorkville."