The Lady Leafs competed against some of the state’s best teams at the State Farm Classic, and Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison earned his 100th career coaching victory.

The Lady Leafs competed against some of the state’s best teams at the State Farm Classic, and Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison earned his 100th career coaching victory.

Geneseo vs. Normal Community

The Lady Leafs were defeated by a tough Normal Community team, 68-35 in the opening round of the State Farm Classic, on Dec. 27.

Normal Community advanced all the way to the championship game in the large school bracket before being defeated by Class 3A ranked Morton in the championship game, 61-56.

Geneseo’s Hannah Himmelman scored a team-high nine points, and Mariah Smith finished with five points.

The Leafs’ Heather Dietrich and Kaitlyn Webster each scored six points, and Josie Brown finished with three points.

Geneseo’s Keeli Frerichs, Anna McAvoy and Tori Verbeck each finished with three points.

Geneseo vs. Glenwood

The Lady Leafs couldn’t slow down Makenzie Bray in the first-round consolation game, on Dec. 28.

Bray scored a game-high 28 points and led Glenwood to a 65-59 victory against Geneseo.

With the game tied at halftime, Glenwood outscored Geneseo 15-8 to pull ahead in the third quarter.

The Lady Leafs’ Frerichs led the team in scoring with 12 points, and Himmelman finished with nine points.

Geneseo’s Brown and McAvoy each scored 10 points, and Mariah Smith tacked on eight points.

The Leafs’ Verbeck and Dietrich each scored four points, and Webster finished with two points.

Geneseo vs. Normal University

The Lady Leafs’ Verbeck had her biggest game of the season scoring 17 points to help lead Geneseo to a 54-46 victory in the matinee game, on Dec. 28.

Coming back from a foot injury, Verbeck made 8-of-9 from the free-throw line to lead the team in scoring.

“I would say she’s about 90 percent,” Hardison said. “She’s still trying to get up to the speed of the game and trying to mentally get back into it with reps and sets and philosophy. She wants to win. She’s a competitor and a heck of an athlete. We are really happy to have her back.”

With Geneseo leading 29-25 at halftime, the Leafs shutdown the Normal Community offense in the third quarter outscoring them 13-6.

Brown scored 13 points, and McAvoy finished with eight points.

The Leafs’ Dietrich and Frerichs each scored five points.

Himmelman scored four points, and Mariah Smith finished with two points.

With the victory, Hardison reached his 100th career coaching win with Geneseo.

Rather than take credit, Hardison believes the milestone belongs more to the players he’s coached over the past seven years.

“I’ll take responsibility for each of the losses,” Hardison said. “But each of the wins, they belong to the girls. It’s really their 100th win.”

With the final game of the tournament on the horizon, there was no time to celebrate.

At the end of the tournament, the Geneseo players gave Hardison notes congratulating him on the milestone.

Geneseo vs. Mahomet-Seymour

In the fifth-place consolation game, Geneseo was unable to overcome a slow start in the second quarter, on Dec. 29.

Mahomet-Seymour topped Geneseo 49-37, and Mahomet-Seymour outscored Geneseo 16-2 in the second quarter.

Verbeck scored nine points, and McAvoy finished with seven points.

Himmelman and Webster each scored six points, and Frerichs finished with five points.

The Leafs’ Brown and Dietrich each scored two points.

Having three winnable games at the State Farm Classic has motivated the team to get better.

With Jane Thomas and Breanna Smith returning to the lineup soon, Geneseo will finally be at full strength with close to a month to prepare for the postseason with its full complement of players.

Hardison said the key to the Lady Leafs evolution will be playing as a unit.

“I think at times, we have been really good individually,” Hardison said. “We haven’t put together 32 minutes as a unit. I’m looking for consistency and execution for 32 minutes.”