The Geneseo girls’ basketball team stumbled against Ottawa and competed against Sterling on Senior Night.
The Geneseo girls’ basketball team stumbled against Ottawa and competed against Sterling.
Geneseo at Ottawa
A fridged first half of shooting was too much for the Lady Leafs to overcome and the Pirates outlasted Geneseo 40-35 on Feb. 2.
Despite trailing 31-19 to start the third quarter, the Leafs fought their way back into the game with seven fourth quarter points from Anna McAvoy.
A junior, McAvoy finished with a team-high 11 points.
It was a tough road back into the game for Geneseo after falling behind 20-8 by halftime.
The Leafs’ Lynsey Gradert scored 10 points and made a pair of 3-pointers.
Geneseo’s Maddie Mackey and Sydney Himmelman each scored four points.
The Lady Leafs’ Renee Rumler, Hannah Himmelman and Lindsey Francque each scored two points.
Sterling at Geneseo
Each of the Lady Leafs’ senior players had their moment to shine on Senior Night on Feb. 7.
The Geneseo offense caught fire in the second half and defeated Sterling 54-34.
A senior, Mackey scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Leafs’ offense.
After missing all of last season with a knee injury, Mackey has started to regain the confidence in her game.
Sterling took a 9-8 lead in the second quarter, Mackey drained a 3-pointer on the next possession and Geneseo never relinquished the lead.
Mackey finished with three 3-pointers in the first half.
“Once I hit that first one, I was really feeling it,” Mackey said. “I kept shooting and my teammates kept getting me the ball.”
However, Geneseo couldn’t find a consistent rhythm on offense leading 20-18 at halftime.
“We weren’t moving the ball,” Geneseo coach Scott Hardison said. “I felt like we played very selfish
in the first half. It wasn’t team basketball. We weren’t passing the ball enough and looking for that assist. When we play well, we have a lot of assists on our shots. We didn’t have that in the first half.
With both teams struggling on offense, Sterling was able to keep the game close by scoring on second-chance points by dominating the glass.
Geneseo flipped the script in the second half.
The Lady Leafs shared the ball and took control of the offensive boards.
Sydney Himmelman was a force in the second half scoring eight of her 10 points after the break.
A senior, Sydney Himmelman grabbed offensive rebounds on two missed free throws and turned them into points.
“We all came out strong on senior night wanting to win for each other,” Himmelman said. “That’s a good attitude to have going into the postseason.”
Rumler had a solid game driving through traffic for nine points, and Lynsey Gradert’s defense was a big part of Geneseo’s turnaround.
Francque made nice moves in the post to finish with five points, and Kendra Snider drilled a 3-pointer that had the Geneseo crowd on its feet.
Battling a cold Abby Krohn checked into the game for Geneseo and scored in the fourth quarter.
Morgan May dove on the floor to force a jump ball, and Paige VandeWiele ran the point guard position in the fourth quarter.
A junior, Heather Dietrich turned a steal into a fast break that gave Geneseo a 25-20 lead.
McAvoy worked well in the post and finished with three points.
The Leafs’ extra possessions they generated through steals and offensive rebounds helped them outscored Sterling 21-10 in the fourth quarter.
“We talked about it at halftime, we need to build up starting here,” Hardison said. “We need to build on the second half, we need to build on our next game and build into regionals next week.”
The IHSA has announced Geneseo has earned the No. 5 seed in the Class 3A subsectional.
The Lady Leafs will travel to Peoria Richwoods to take on Dunlap in the regional semifinal game on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.