Leafs beat Plainfield in double OT

Amy Carton
Chase VanOpdorp goes up for the shot, while being heavily guard by the Washington defender Dec. 28.

The Geneseo High?School boys’ basketball team squared off against some tough competition this past week in the Pekin Holiday Tournament as the Leafs went 1-3 for the tournament.

Geneseo vs. Limestone

In the final round of the Pekin Holiday Tournament, the Leafs were defeated by Limestone, 59-36.

“It was a learning experience,” said head coach Dave Martin of the tournament. “I didn’t go down there with a certain number of wins in mind, but hopefully we found things to work on and improve on.”

Limestone jumped out ahead early, 16-6 in the first quarter and didn’t look back after that. The Rockets scored another 19 points in the second quarter to the Leafs’ 10 for a 35-16 halftime score.

Despite Geneseo outscoring Limestone 11-9 in the third quarter, the score remained in favor of the Rockets, 44-27. Limestone notched 15 more points in the fourth to Geneseo’s nine for the win.

All but three Leafs got in on the scoring action, but it wasn’t enough to edge out the Rockets.

Jared Kuban led the team with eight points on four field goals, followed by Sam?Hamer with six on three field goals.

Blake Croegaert added five points as he hit a field goal and a three pointer, while Billy Hamer and Michael?Ashpole each scored four points on two field goals, apiece.

Rounding out the effort were Jason Johnson, Connor Johnson, Andrew Denney and Chase VanOpdorp all with two points— Jason Johnson, Connor Johnson and Denney all with a field goal and VanOpdorp went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. Tyler Fisher ended the contest with one point on a free throw.

Geneseo vs. Plainfield East

Geneseo captured its first win of the tournament in a down to the wire, double overtime victory over Plainfield East, 46-45.

Plainfield took the early lead in the first half, 11-9 at the end of the first and then, 18-13 at the half.

Plainfield extended its advantage to 10 in the third quarter, 29-19, but the Leafs surged back in the fourth to tie the game, 41-41 at the end of regulation. Geneseo posted 22 points to Plainfield’s 12 in the fourth quarter.

In the first overtime, both squads only allowed two points for a 43-43 tie game.

It was another low scoring second overtime, but the Leafs were able to edge out the Bengals by one, 3-2 for the 46-45 win.

Croegaert and Denney led the offensive effort for the Leafs, both posting double figures.

Croegaert scored 12 on three shots from beyond the arc and three free throws, while Denney added 11 on four shots from the field and one three pointer.

Devan DePauw added eight points with two three pointers and a field goal, followed by Ashpole with six on three field goals.

Others contributing to the win were VanOpdorp and Jonathan Staab, each with four — VanOpdorp on a field goal and two free throws and Staab two field goals. Fisher finished the game with one point on a free throw.

Geneseo vs. Thornridge

The Leafs tried to rebound in their second game of the Pekin Holiday Tournament, but were unsuccessful as Geneseo fell, 46-37 to Thornridge Dec. 29.

At the end of the first quarter, the Leafs and Falcons were tied up 6-6 and then both teams hit 10 points in the second for a 16-16 tie at the half.

Thornridge scored 12 points to Geneseo’s 10 in the third quarter for a two-point advantage, 28-26. The Falcons then outshot the Leafs, 18-11 in the fourth quarter to nab the win.

VanOpdorp led the team with eight points as he hit two field goals and went 4-for-4 from the foul line.

Denney, Staab, Croegaert and Ashpole all finished with six points apiece — Denney with a field goals and four free throws; Staab, three field goals; Croegaert, two shots from beyond the arc; and Ashpole, two field goals and two free throws.

Sam Hamer and Connor Johnson added two points apiece, both with a field goal, while DePauw went 1-for-1 from the free-throw line for his lone point of the game.

Geneseo vs. Washington

Washington proved to be too much for the Leafs Dec. 28 as Washington defeated Geneseo, 46-32 in the first round of the Pekin Holiday Tournament.

Washington led the game from the start and Geneseo was never really able to catch them.

Washington led the first quarter, 13-9 and then drained 17 points in the second for the 30-17 advantage at the half.

The second half saw both teams only scoring in single digits as Geneseo attempted to dig themselves out of a hole.

Geneseo outscored Washington 9-7 in the third quarter for a 37-26 score in favor of Washington. Washington then scored nine points in the fourth to Geneseo’s six for the win.

Ashpole led the way for the Leafs with 10 points as he knocked down four shots from the field and two free throws.

Croegaert added seven points with a field goal, one shot from beyond the arc and two free throws.

Sam Hamer, Denney and Jason Johnson each added four points to the effort — Hamer and Denney each with two field goals and Johnson, a field goal and two free throws. VanOpdorp scored three points on a field goal and a free throw.

“I hope we take away how hard we have to prepare for a game and how we approach the game,” said Martin. “We did learn as a team we have to stick together and we need to keep improving on how hard we defend teams and that we need to get a stop every time.”

The Leafs (7-5 overall) will be back in action tonight at 7:30 p.m. on the road against Dixon.

Blake Croegaert drives past the defender in the first round of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament.