The Geneseo girls’ basketball team defeated Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference foes DeKalb and LaSalle-Peru to improve their record to 10-0 on the season.

The Geneseo girls’ basketball team defeated Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference foes DeKalb and LaSalle-Peru to improve their record to 10-0 on the season.

DeKalb at Geneseo

The Lady Leafs need a bit of a spark in the first half against the Barbs.

With the Lady Leafs earning the No. 7 ranking in the Associated Press Class 3A poll, Geneseo’s defense played like one of the states best teams during Geneseo to a 60-27 victory on Dec. 7.

With Geneseo leading 16-8, the Lady Leafs held DeKalb without a basket in the second quarter to spark a 13-0 run to finish the first half up 29-8.

Geneseo kept the Barbs off the scoreboard by limiting DeKalb’s possessions and attacking the glass on offense.

The Lady Leafs scored nine points on offensive rebounds in the first half with Kaitlyn Webster scoring four points off putbacks.

Webster attributes Geneseo’s early success to the team focusing on how they can take control of a game.

“We don’t look at situations thinking about if we lose or what happens if a girl is going to shut us out,”

Webster said. “We are looking at only the positives, and what we are going to do to shut a player down or shut a team down.” Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison saw the Lady Leafs turn up the pressure, and he praised the team effort that led to DeKalb’s leading scorer Ashley Nelson finishing with only six points.

Geneseo had a boost on offense from Abbi Barickman finding her stroke from the outside.

A sophomore, Abbi finished with a game-high 15 points and was deadly from 3-point range knocking down four shots from beyond the arc.

“It felt good to finally get back into a rhythm,” Abbi said. “Earlier in the week, I had struggled a bit. My coaches and teammates helped get me there mentally to knock down those shots.”

Abbi knocked down her first 3-pointer with 1:40 in the first quarter to give Geneseo a 12-6 lead, and she beat the buzzer for a 3-pointer to make it 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Geneseo’s Josie Brown continued to be ferocious putting pressure on the ball on defense, and she finished with 10 points.

Webster finished with eight points, and Maddi Barickman finished with nine points making three 3-pointers.

Tori Verbeck and Hannah Himmelman each scored four points, and Lauren Pardoe and Kammie Ludwig each scored three points.

Keeli Frerichs and Eden McAvoy each scored two points.

LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo

The Lady Leafs tough defense helped them put away NIB 12 West rival LaSalle-Peru on Dec. 11.

Geneseo defeated the Lady Cavaliers 51-33, and the Leafs outscored L-P 19-9 in the second half.

The Lady Leafs made key free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Geneseo made 8-of-12 free throws in the second half and finished 18-of-25 in the game.

Frerichs made 4-of-6 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

Geneseo got a lift from Verbeck coming off the bench to score a game-high 14 points adding four steals.

Himmelman finished with eight points and nine rebounds, and Maddi finished with seven points and six rebounds.

Ludwig finished with six points and seven rebounds, and Frerichs finished with six points and three assists.

Brown tacked on five points and four rebounds, and Webster finished with three rebounds and two points.

Pardoe tallied two points, and Abbi made 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

Geneseo was named the No. 8 seed in the State Farm Holiday Classic. The Lady Leafs will play the No. 9 seed Chicago Kenwood in the opening round at Bloomington High School on Dec. 26 at 10:30 a.m.