The Geneseo girls’ basketball team kept their playoff hopes alive this past week as the Lady Leafs knocked out IVC and Galesburg from the tournament.
Geneseo vs. Galesburg
With the tough task of facing the No. 1 team in the regional, the Lady Leafs went into their Feb. 12 regional semifinal against Galesburg looking to play the role of spoilers and the girls did just that as they took down the Silver Streaks, 55-49 to advance to the regional championship.
“It was a good time to play our best game of the year,” said head coach Scott Hardison. “We came out and were aggressive the whole night and that is the key for us to be successful. We need to be aggressive on offense and defense and we did that.
“You always have to have confidence in yourself, and the girls did that. There were not a lot outside of our locker room who thought we could do it, but we did. We had a quiet confidence and executed our game plan.”
Galesburg took the early 15-9 lead in the first quarter, but Geneseo fought back and knocked down 17 points, while Galesburg scored 10 to give the Lady Leafs the 26-25 advantage at the break.
The Lady Leafs came out in the third quarter and put 16 more points on the board, while they held the Silver Streaks to 10 for the 42-35 lead. Even though Galesburg outscored Geneseo in the fourth, the Lady Leafs were able to put the game way with 13 points in the final quarter for the win.
“(Galesburg’s) Jessica Lieber is very good, but Emily Ford and Molly DeBrock locked her down last night (and held her to 12 points),” said Hardison. “I thought our inside girls really controlled the boards, which kept Galesburg from the put-back points.”
Jamie DeFauw, Darci Dietrich and Molly DeBrock led the offensive charge for the Lady Leafs as all three raked in double figures.
DeFauw posted a game-high 17 points as she knocked down eight shots from the field and a free throw; followed by Dietrich with 15 points as she hit 7-of-9 shots from the line and four field goals. DeBrock put up 14 points as she drained a shot from beyond the arc, five field goals and a free throw.
Anna Wise added four points to the win with two field goals, while Emily Ford knocked down a trey for her three points. Rachel Ganson finished the game with two points off a field goal.
“Oh my gosh, we didn’t miss,” said Hardison. “Well, we missed some here and there, but we were more consistent. I never saw Darci so aggressive going to the rim, and I saw Jamie play like she is capable of.
Page 2 of 3 - “It was a complete team effort. Everyone played well, and Rachel Ganson, Rori Westerlund and Kaylie Piekos gave us good minutes.”
Geneseo vs. IVC
Geneseo jumped out to a commanding lead in the first half on its way to a 10-point victory, 39-29 over IVC Feb. 11 in the opening round of IHSA Regional play at Dunlap.
“We really came out and played well in the first half, but in the second half our bug of missing shots around the hoop hurt us,” said Hardison. “We had a double-digit lead most of the game so it wasn’t a huge deal.”
The Lady Leafs grabbed the early 12-5 lead in the first quarter and knocked down 15 more in the second to go ahead 27-9 at the half. IVC was held to only four points in the second quarter.
IVC scored eight points in the third quarter and held Geneseo to four for a 31-17 score, and the Grey Ghosts put up 12 points to the Lady Leafs’ eight in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to steal the win from Geneseo.
Geneseo’s five starters were the lone scorers for the Lady Leaf squad with Ford leading the team with 12 points, knocking down a triple, three shots from the field and three free throws.
DeBrock followed with 11 points as she went 7-for-11 from the line and two field goals, while Dietrich added eight points on three field goals and two free throws.
DeFauw chipped in five points off two field goals and a free throw, while Wise scored three points off a field goal and a free throw.
Geneseo vs. DeKalb
The Lady Leafs didn’t close out the regular season Feb. 9 the way they had hoped as the girls fell on their home floor to DeKalb, 39-24.
Both squads scored six points in the first quarter, but DeKalb pulled away after that as the Barbs posted 14 points in the second quarter and held the Lady Leafs to four. DeKalb led 20-10 at the half.
Geneseo was held to only four points again in the third quarter, while DeKalb scored seven points for a 27-14 advantage. The Barbs capped off the game with 12 points in the fourth, while the Lady Leafs scored 10.
Wise and Dietrich were the leading scorers for Geneseo with six points apiece, both hitting three shots from the field.
DeFauw added five points off two field goals and a free throw, followed by Ford, Kaylie Piekos and Ganson with two points apiece — Ford and Ganson each with a field goal and Piekos, two free throws. Abby Marmion finished with one point on a free throw.
Page 3 of 3 - Geneseo vs. Dixon
Geneseo’s varsity girls’ basketball team notched a 48-34 win over Dixon Feb. 7 in Geneseo in the girls’ final conference game of the year.
The Lady Leafs jumped out to a 20-9 lead in the first quarter and took a 32-17 advantage into the half. Geneseo scored 12 points and held Dixon to eight in the second quarter.
After the break, Geneseo outscored Dixon, 12-5 for the 44-22 lead. Dixon outshot the Lady Leafs in the fourth quarter 12-4, but it wasn’t enough to catch Geneseo.
DeBrock led the team with 14 points as she knocked down six shots from the field and two free throws.
Dietrich and DeFauw both posted 11 points for the Lady Leafs, each hit five field goals and a free throw, while Wise added six points off two field goals and two free throws.
Ford finished with four points on two field goals and Ganson hit a field goal for her two points.
The Lady Leafs (14-15 overall and 5-5 in the NIB 12) were in action Feb. 14 playing for the regional championship against Alleman. With a win, the girls will play in the Washington Sectional at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 against the winner of the East Peoria Regional.