The Geneseo boys’ basketball team closed out conference play with a win this past week, but also saw its season come to an end in regionals.
Geneseo vs. Alleman
Geneseo couldn’t overcome its slow start and Alleman’s fast start Feb. 25 as the Pioneers knocked the Leafs out of regionals by a score of 50-41.
“Alleman came out with the intensity we expected them to, and we were tentative and missed two or three layups right away that got us on our heels more,” said head coach Brad Storm. “Things snowballed before we could get it stopped.”
Alleman got out to an early 16-8 lead in the first quarter and carried the 25-13 advantage into the locker room at the half. The Pioneers scored nine points in the second to Leafs’ five.
The Leafs came out after the break and outscored the Pioneers 13-11 as Alleman took the 10-point lead, 36-26. Geneseo posted another 15 points in the fourth to try and close the gap, but Alleman scored 14 and held on for the win.
“Late in the second quarter we made a nice run and, in the second half, we were the better team,” said Storm. “We just couldn’t close the gap and they made the free throws at the end. We could never finish the job off to come back on them.”
Jordan Starkey led the team in his final game with nine points as he hit three shots from the field and a three pointer.
Seniors Ethan Reschke, Austin Frank and Nathan Yager chipped in eight points apiece — Reschke and Frank knocked down four shots from the field each; and Yager drained two shots from beyond the arc and a field goal.
“Nathan Yager came off the bench and hit eight points and got us back on a roll,” said Storm. “He did a really nice job and left everything on the floor. Everyone busted their tail, but it was just too big of a hole to dig out of.”
Luke Snyder and Drew Himmelman added three points each — Snyder on a trey and Himmelman with a field goal and a free throw; while Grant Burress scored two points off a field goal.
Geneseo vs. Dixon
The Leafs were able to pull off the win in the team’s conference and home finale Feb. 22 as Geneseo defeated Dixon, 55-49.
“Dixon was a different team than what we saw earlier because they were making their shots, and we were not surprised they played us much tougher,” said Storm. “Our guys had a lot to play for with Senior Night, going into regionals with momentum and we also wanted third in the conference. Those were our goals for Friday night and we got them.”
Page 2 of 2 - Dixon grabbed the early 13-12 lead in the first quarter, but the Leafs knocked down 17 points in the second quarter and held Dixon to nine in the second to gain control of the game, 29-22.
The Leafs held on to its advantage in the third quarter, 45-40, but the Dukes did outscore Geneseo, 18-16. Geneseo put up another 10 points in the fourth quarter to Dixon’s nine to secure the win.
Starkey, Frank and Snyder all posted double figures Friday night. Starkey led the way with 14 points as he went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line, along with four field goals. Frank chipped in 13 as he knocked down six shots from the field and a free throw, and Snyder added 12 off three field goals, a triple and three free throws.
Ethan Radue and Himmelman each scored five points for the Leafs — Radue hit a shot from beyond the arc and a field goal; while Himmelman scored on two field goals and a free throw.
Burress, Yager and Jordan Mielke finished the game with two points apiece — Burress went 2-for-2 from the line and Yager and Mielke each scored on a field goal.
The Leafs end their season at 10-16 overall and 5-5 in the NIB 12 to place third.
“It was hard to know what to expect because I didn’t know these kids, but we felt we would be good enough to compete for 15-20 wins if we played well,” said Storm. “We couldn’t overcome some things and lost so many close games that were within reach that I think that weighed on the kids.
“This was a great group of kids and I enjoyed being around them. I am going to miss those seniors and it was hard for the season to end even though I was only around them for a few months. The kids grew on me pretty quickly.”