The Geneseo varsity boys’ basketball team had split results in action over the weekend with a win over Yorkville, but a conference loss to Ottawa.
Geneseo vs. Yorkville
With 31 of the team’s 49 points, Geneseo’s Jordan Starkey and Ethan Radue helped propel the Leafs to a 49-42 road victory over Yorkville Jan. 26.
“We were more consistent, and that was huge,” said head coach Brad Storm. “This time, we didn’t have those let downs and that was huge for us. It was probably the most consistent game for us in a long time, but we made it really tough on ourselves, shooting 14-of-26 from the line, and we didn’t have smart passes.”
Geneseo opened the game with a 14-10 lead in the first quarter, and held on to the one-point advantage at the half, 22-21 after Yorkville outscored Geneseo, 11-8.
Yorkville won the third quarter and gained control of the lead, 33-32 as the Foxes put up 12 points to the Leafs’ 10.
The Leafs countered in the fourth quarter as they knocked down 17 points and held the Foxes to nine to nab the victory.
“We were in control early, but Yorkville hung around and, in the third quarter, they outscored us,” said Storm. “In the fourth quarter, we were the team making the plays on both ends of the court.”
Starkey raked in 17 points to pace the Leafs as he knocked down five shots from the field and four free throws; while Radue contributed 14 off two shots from beyond the arc, a field goal and six free throws.
Drew Himmelman, in his first varsity contest of the year, chipped in five points as he hit two field goals and a free throw; followed by Luke Snyder with four points on a trey and a free throw.
Jordan Mielke and Nathan Yager finished the game with three points apiece — Mielke drained a three pointer, and Yager hit a field goal and a free throw.
Austin Frank ended the day with two points on a field goal, and Grant Burress went 1-for-2 from the line for his lone point of the game.
“Consistency allowed us not to have to come from behind like we have,” said Storm. “We played a good, solid game, executed down the stretch and made some plays.
“Drew Himmelman came up big for us in the fourth quarter and made his first two baskets in his first varsity game. He made plays on both ends, altering some shots and grabbing rebounds. Radue struggled at the start, but had nine points in the fourth quarter. We had a lot of guys do good things. Consistency allowed us to make plays to win, which was a nice change of pace.
Page 2 of 3 - “Austin will hopefully bounce back (from his injury), but there is no guarantee, so Drew gives us another height dimension,” said Storm. “We also have been in foul trouble, so Drew gives us that depth in that spot. It was a gut feeling to put Drew in because we needed someone to guard their big guy and the gut feeling paid off.”
Geneseo vs. Ottawa
The middle two quarters which have plagued the Leafs in the past got the best of the Geneseo boys again in the squad’s 50-41 loss to Ottawa Jan. 25.
“This time it was the third,” said Storm. “It seems to be one of the middle two quarters.”
After both teams were held scoreless in the opening three minutes of action, the Leafs grabbed the 9-5 lead in the first quarter. The Pirates countered in the second quarter as they outscored the Leafs, 12-5 and held Geneseo without a field goal. Ottawa took the 17-14 advantage into halftime.
“The game was just like we expected — physical, defense oriented and low scoring. We had a four-point lead in the first quarter, but they came and got us in the second quarter. Fortunately, they didn’t score a lot either. We only had one field goal in the middle two quarters and that is tough to overcome,” said Storm. “Our guys did a good job of showing a sense of urgency in the fourth quarter, but Ottawa is on a roll and is a good team. I think we are good enough to beat them if we play four quarters of basketball.”
Ottawa came out after the break and posted 14 more points to Geneseo’s six. This time the Leafs were only allowed one field goal, a three-pointer from Mielke, to make it a 31-20 ball game.
The Leafs bounced back in the fourth quarter with 21 points, but Ottawa put up another 19 to secure the win.
“It was a combination, we were getting good shots, but Ottawa was switching things up to put pressure on and we didn’t adjust,” said Storm. “In the third quarter, we got shots, but just couldn’t make them.”
Leading the Leafs’ offense was Starkey with 13 points, sinking 10-of-13 from the free-throw line and a three pointer.
Radue added nine points as he knocked down a triple, two field goals and two free throws, followed by Mielke with eight points as he drained two shots from beyond the arc and a field goal.
Burress finished the night with five points off two field goals and a free throw, while Snyder, Ethan Reschke and Frank, all scored two points, each hit a field goal.
Page 3 of 3 - The Leafs (8-11 overall and 3-3 in the NIB 12) will next host LaSalle-Peru at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.
“LaSalle-Peru is undefeated in the conference and will probably be conference champs unless someone takes them out,” said Storm. “They can shoot and play really hard, but they are not blowing people out. We played well with them up there so we shouldn’t fear them.
“We want to build on that consistency, and I don’t want us to have long lapses where the other team goes on a long run. We need to have the same intensity all game and lay it all on the line.”