Maple Leafs fall in conference finale

Amy Boldt

In their final NCIC showdown of the season, the Geneseo boys’ basketball team traveled to Ottawa to square off against the Pirates Feb. 27. However, it was the home team that was able to come away with the narrow three-point victory, 48-45.

“We played pretty well and we have gotten closer (to getting a win on the road),” said head coach Dave Martin. “We are ready to break through.”

Ottawa took the early lead in the first quarter, 18-13, but Geneseo was able to limit the Pirate offense in the second to gain control of the game at the half. The Leafs drained 12 points in the second and held the Pirates to five for a 25-23 advantage at the half. 

The Pirates regained control of the game in the third quarter as the offense scored 15 points to the Leafs’ 11. Ottawa led the game by two 38-36 to start the fourth quarter. The Pirates were able to edge out the Leafs in the fourth quarter, outscoring them by one, 10-9 and came away with the three-point conference win.

Michael Ashpole led the Geneseo offense with 11 points as he knocked down one shot from beyond the arc, three field goals and went 2-for-2 from the line.

Derek Griffin followed with 10 points of his own on five shots from the field, while Blake Croegaert, Erik Dornfeld and Aaron Ganson each scored seven. Croegaert hit one three pointer and four free throws, while Dornfeld scored on two field goals and three free throws and Ganson added a three pointer and two field goals.

“Derek has come a long way and he’s just another guy to guard,” said Martin.

Others contributing to the effort were Jonathan Staab and Chase VanOpdorp with two points apiece, each with a field goal.

The Leafs (13-13 overall and 3-7 in the NCIC) started regional action Feb. 4 against Galesburg in Galesburg. With a win the Leafs, will play for the regional championship at 7:30 p.m. tonight.