The Maple Leafs’ boys basketball team earned a hard-fought victory against Sycamore and fell on the road against Alleman.

The Maple Leafs’ boys basketball team earned a hard-fought victory against Sycamore and fell on the road against Alleman.

Sycamore at Geneseo

The Maple Leafs had a score to settle against the Spartans, and staying composed allowed them to earn a 69-58 victory at Geneseo High School on Jan. 4.

The intensity level was high with the student section at full volume.

Isaiah Rivera gave the Geneseo faithful every reason to cheer scoring a game-high 32 points.

With the emotion spilling over onto the floor, Geneseo was able to take advantage of three Sycamore technicals and shoot 25-of-40 from the free throw line.

When Geneseo had been pushed in the past, they had wilted at times against the intensity teams brought into the second half.

However, Geneseo really separated in the third quarter as things began to get chippy.

“I think it’s been a process of having guys stepping up and having belief in each other,” Geneseo coach Brad Storm said. “Before it was everyone standing around waiting to see what Isaiah was going to do. Now other guys are stepping up. Isaiah believes in them. They believe in each other and they believe in themselves. When that happens. I think you can stand up for yourself and not be intimidated as much.”

In the second half, Geneseo’s Jacob McConnell got the offense started scoring on a layup, draining a 3-pointer and dishing out an assist to have a hand in the Maple Leafs first seven points of the quarter.

“I looked at the scoreboard and saw that I only had two points,” McConnell said. “I was thinking I needed to contribute more to the team.

Isaiah and I having chemistry on fast breaks helps us out. Just having that chemistry really helps him and helps me.”

Rivera crossed over a defender sending him crashing to the floor to knock down a step back 3-pointer to get the crowd on its feet with a 41-35 Geneseo lead in the third quarter.

Geneseo ended the third quarter 16-4 run with the Maple Leafs’ offense hitting big shots to keep adding to the deafening roar in the gym.

Anthony Pierce hit a wide open 3-pointer on an inbound pass to give Geneseo a 52-38 lead, and Sycamore picked up its second technical foul just moments later.

Rivera credits the bench players for helping them stand up to physical play and know how to play through contact.

“In practice, we are getting bloody and bruised up,” Rivera said. “We are being physical with each other at practice. A lot of guys who you don’t see playing are the ones bruising us up in practice and making us better. They are going hard and helping us out.”

Everyone hit big shots to keep the crowd roaring in the fourth quarter.

Joseph McConnell made a layup to give Geneseo a 43-35 lead.

P.J. Moser hit a layup to make it 60-45, and Kyle Traphagan knocked down a 3-pointer to keep the offense rolling.

Jacob McConnell finished with nine points, and Tim Lehman scored eight points.

Moser finished with four points, and Pierce scored six points.

Traphagan tallied five points and Kade Ariano finished with three points.

Geneseo at Alleman

The Maple Leafs couldn’t muster the same second-half effort against the Pioneers at Alleman High School on Jan. 8.

Alleman earned a 71-45 victory after outscoring Geneseo 36-14 in the second half.

Rivera finished with a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds, and Jacob McConnell finished with six points.

Lehman tallied six points, and Moser grabbed three rebounds and scored two points.

Joseph McConnell and Pierce each finished with three rebounds and two points.

Nathan VanDeWoestyne and Ariano each scored two points.