The Lady Leafs girls’ basketball team has started the season on a four-game winning streak to position themselves to win the Temple’s Tip-Off Classic title.

The Lady Leafs girls’ basketball team has started the season on a four-game winning streak to position themselves to win the Temple’s Tip-Off Classic title.

Geneseo vs. Sherrard

The Lady Leafs change in mentality this season was apparent during their 44-35 victory over the Tigers in Geneseo on Nov. 16.

Geneseo looked confident and poised down the stretch handling the ball well and using their senior leadership to keep the final two minutes turnover-free.

A key piece for the Lady Leafs being able to close out Sherrard was something Geneseo was lacking all of last season — consistent free throw shooting.

The Leafs made 23-of-30 free throws from the line en route to the win.

“They are seniors,” Geneseo Coach Hardison said. “That’s the best answer I can have. They played a year at this level, and they can breathe when they step to the line. They know they’re going to do it.”

The Leafs were able to extend the lead in the second half from the line making 12-of-17 in the fourth quarter.

Geneseo’s Renee Rumler finished with 15 points and the Leafs’ senior point guard was entrusted to get the ball upcourt against the Tigers’ backcourt pressure.

Rumler said the Leafs have been working toward this season as a group for a long time and great team chemistry has made them undaunted by the big moments.

“We turn our fear into determination and that pulled us through,” Rumler said.

A 3 pointer by Sherrard cut Geneseo’s lead to five to start the fourth quarter, but the Leafs’ players converted big shots down the stretch to defeat a talented Sherrard team.

After great defense carried Geneseo in the first half to an 18-13 halftime lead, the Leafs’ inside talent of Sydney Himmelman and Lindsey Francque went to work owning the glass in the second half.

Himmelman scored five points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Francque finished with a double-double 10 points 12 rebounds.

Lynsey Gradert hit a clutch 3 pointer basket to give the Leafs a 30-22 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Himmelman’s offense of board and put back gave Geneseo a double digit lead 34 to 24 with under two minutes remaining.

With less than a minute left, Rumler made two free-throws to take a 40-33 advantage.

The fact that everyone played a role in the Leafs’ win was one of the reasons Francque thought the team seemed so poised in the closing minutes.

“It means we are doing stuff right,” Francque said. “It means our hard work is paying off, and then we can achieve our goals. We set a goal to win this tournament, and I know we can do it I have faith in all the girls and I know they all have faith.”

Geneseo vs. Chicago Ag. Science

The Lady Leafs dominated on both sides of the ball during their 53-11 victory over Chicago Ag. Science on Nov. 18.

Geneseo had 11 players score in the game and raced to a 31-7 lead at halftime.

Anna McAvoy led the team with 10 points off the bench, and Himmelman finished with eight points and six rebounds.

Gradert made the game’s lone 3-pointer and she finished with eight points.

The Lady Leafs’ Heather Dietrich and Rumler scored five points each.

Allison Yager and Jane Thomas finished with four points each, and Maddie Mackey scored three points.

Francque and Kendra Snider each scored two points, and Abby Krohn notched two points for the Leafs.

Geneseo vs. LaSalle-Peru

The Lady Leafs kept their record unblemished with a 50-41 victory against the Cavaliers in Geneseo on Nov. 19.

Geneseo owned the glass out rebounding L-P 37-26 with Himmelman grabbing 10 rebounds and Francque pulling down nine rebounds.

Himmelman scored 10 points, and Francque finished with five for the Lady Leafs.

With five players over six feet tall playing in the game, Geneseo was still able to outwork the sizeable interior of the Cavaliers.

The Lady Leafs’ guard Rumler was able to navigate her way through the taller players scoring 10 points, and Gradert finished with seven points.

The Lady Leafs’ Paige VandeWiele and Mackey finished with five points each.

McAvoy and Thomas scored four points for the Leafs off the bench.

Geneseo’s next game will open Northern Illinois Big 12 West Conference play when they host LaSalle-Peru on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.