The Maple Leafs got the look they needed on the final shot of the game, but Geneseo didn't get the result they deserved.
The Maple Leafs got the look they needed on the final shot of the game, but Geneseo didn’t get the result they deserved.
LaSalle-Peru pulled out the win defeating Geneseo 34-32 in the Northern Illinois Big 12 boys’ basketball opener in Geneseo, on Dec. 1.
With seven seconds remaining, Geneseo executed a perfect final play to give themselves a final shot at a game winner, but the shot hit iron ending a woeful shooting night for the Leafs.
LaSalle-Peru surrounded the basket to keep Geneseo’s dynamic slasher Isaiah Rivera from getting to the hoop, but the Leafs couldn’t take advantage of open jumpers from the outside making just two 3-pointers in the game.
“We couldn’t knock a shot down,” Geneseo Coach Brad Storm said. “If we knock some of those down, they have to extend it out and it opens things up. If we don’t get any of those shots to fall, it makes it pretty easy to defend us.”
Geneseo struggled shooting to start the second half scoring just four points and falling behind 27-23 to start the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know if they wanted to do so well so they were tight,” Storm said. “But, we shot a lot of short air balls, and we don’t usually do that.”
It was an emotional game for the Maple Leafs playing their first NIB 12 conference game of the season and playing in memory Geneseo’s Trevor Schefsky who had passed away just two days before the game.
After the final buzzer sounded, Geneseo’s student section continued to chant, “We are Trev Strong,” wearing their #TrevStrong shirts and hoodies in support of their fallen classmate.
On the court, the two teams battled for control of the lead with seven lead changes in the game.
With three minutes left in the third quarter, L-P took the lead for good at 21-20 with a basket from Tyler Martyn in the third quarter.
L-P’s Martyn finished with 14 points to lead the team in scoring, and Geneseo’s Rivera finished with a game-high 20 points.
The Leafs’ Jarron Nordstrom chipped in four points, and Mick Haverland made a 3-pointer.
Tim Lehman and Jacob McConnell each tacked on two points, and Griffin Tracey made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.
With opponents playing a box and one defense to try to take away Rivera, Storm understands the Maple Leafs’ next step will be to develop a counter punch.
“We just need to keep working on those in practice,” Storm said. “We have to practice against them and get a better gameplan for when shots aren’t falling.”
Geneseo’s next home game will be against Yorkville at Geneseo on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.