The Geneseo varsity boys’ basketball team suffered two tough losses this past week at home to Rockridge and LaSalle-Peru.

The Geneseo varsity boys’ basketball team suffered two tough losses this past week at home to Rockridge and LaSalle-Peru.

Geneseo vs. Rockridge

In non-conference action Feb. 5, the visiting Rockridge Rockets were too much for the Leafs to handle as the Rockets cruised to a 70-35 win over Geneseo.

“Individually, (Rockridge’s) Ethan Happ scored 24, but he got some of those late,” said head coach Brad Storm. “We did a decent job on him, but he’s just a really good player. He is a really great player, but he is not alone. Rockridge has a lot of weapons and they played better last night than we have seen them play all year. On the other hand, we took some steps backwards and this is a bad time for that.”

The Rockets opened with the 21-5 lead in the first quarter and knocked down 22 points in the second quarter to take the 43-13 advantage into the half. Geneseo was held to eight points in the second.

After the break, Rockridge continued its offensive attack with 14 points in the third quarter to Geneseo’s 11 for a 57-24 score. The Rockets scored another 13 points in the fourth, while the Leafs put up 11.

“Rockridge’s pressure got to us,” said Storm. “Their starters are all bigger than us, and their pressure, size and athleticism was intimidating. We got back on our heels, they were the aggressors and we let them dictate on both ends. It is tough to win that way.”

Leading the offensive effort for Geneseo was Jordan Starkey with 10 points, sinking three field goals, a three pointer and a free throw.

Luke Snyder added eight points as he hit four shots from the field; followed by Drew Himmelman with six points as he went 4-for-6 from the line and a field goal.

Ethan Reschke and Austin Frank both finished the game with four points, each had two field goals; while Jordan Mielke drained a shot from beyond the arc for his three points.

“Our guys kept trying to do things, but Rockridge never let up either. It was tough for us to do anything,” said Storm. “Our guys played hard, but didn’t compete like they did against LaSalle-Peru.”

Geneseo vs. LaSalle-Peru

The Leafs went toe-to-toe with the top team in the conference in LaSalle-Peru Feb. 2 in Geneseo. Geneseo matched the Cavaliers point-for-point, but with a chance to tie the game in the final seconds to force overtime, the Leafs fell short as L-P grabbed the 54-52 victory.

“We competed for four quarters, made good decisions, played hard and played to win the game,” said Storm. “That is why that loss hurts more because we did compete to earn the win and just didn’t get it. I am really proud of our effort against L-P. We played our best overall team game of the year.”

At the end of the first quarter, both squads were locked at 16 apiece, and Geneseo took the 26-25 lead at the half as the Leafs scored 10 points and L-P had nine.

L-P came out in the third quarter and scored 15 points, while Geneseo put up 14 to tie the contest at 40-40.

In the fourth quarter, L-P led 54-52 with only seconds left on the clock and Geneseo had the ball. The Leafs took one final shot to try and force overtime, but were unsuccessful to give L-P the win. The Cavaliers scored 14 points to the Leafs’ 12 in the fourth.

“I thought we did battle L-P from start to finish and we had our chances,” said Storm. “We stepped up and played with them the whole four quarters.”

Coming off the bench, sophomore Himmelman sparked the Leaf offense as he led the team with 13 points, hitting five shots from the field and three free throws.

Reschke followed with 10 points of his own as he knocked down five field goals; while Ethan Radue scored eight off two field goals, a triple and a free throw.

Starkey added seven points on two field goals and a three pointer; followed by Grant Burress and Mielke, who both drained a shot from beyond the arc and a field goal for their five points apiece.

Snyder finished the night with three points on a field goal and a free throw, while Frank scored one point as he went 1-for-2 from the line.

The Leafs (8-12 overall and 3-4 in the NIB 12) will be on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m. against Streator.