Lady Leafs redeem early season loss to Redskins

Amy Carton
Keatyn DeGrave pulls up for the jumper Jan. 19 when the Lady Leafs hosted Morris.

The Geneseo High School girls’ basketball team was deep in NCIC play with a trio of conference matches this past week as the Lady Leafs came out with two wins and one loss.

Geneseo vs. Morris

The Lady Leafs took down NCIC leader Morris Jan. 19 with a 54-48 win to even out the series at 1-1.

“We played Morris in early December and they beat us by four and they have been tied with Sterling for the conference title,” said head coach Steve Brucher. “We knew we were going to have our hands full and it was an opportunity to redeem ourselves.”

Geneseo jumped out to a strong start with an 18-9 lead in the first quarter. Morris started to come back in the second quarter to cut Geneseo’s lead to 30-26 at the half. Morris outscored Geneseo, 17-12 in the second quarter.

The Lady Redskins took control of the game in the third quarter, 39-37 after the squad scored 13 points to the Lady Leafs’ seven.  Geneseo rebounded in the fourth quarter to finish strong. The Lady Leafs posted 17 points in the final minutes and held Morris to nine for the win.

“Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job, but just like anything else we did a good job in spurts and struggled in spurts,” said Brucher.

Jena Rice and Allie Hudson combined for 24 of the team’s 54 points with 12 points apiece. Both girls knocked down five shots from the field and two shots from the foul line.

Devan Griffin added eight points with four field goals, while Maggie Bergeson chipped in  seven on two field goals and three free throws.

Allison Wiese finished the game with six points on three field goals, followed by Keatyn?DeGrave and Kelsey Burress with three points apiece, both with a field goal and a free throw.

“Kelsey Burress against Morris gave us outstanding minutes and played inspired and with good energy,” said Brucher. “We also had great help off the bench with starters getting in foul trouble.”

Others contributing to the win were Kaci Storm with two points on a field goal and Natalie Witter went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line for her lone point.

Geneseo vs. Streator

Balanced scoring and solid defense were the keys for the Lady Leafs as they bounced back and dominated host Streator 45-24 Jan. 16.

“This was one of the first times we really put away a team in a while and that was nice to see,” said Brucher. “It was the first time in a long time as a coach I was able to breath a little easier and we got to play everybody.”

DeGrave, Wiese and Griffin combined for 28 of the team’s points, while the defense held Streator to single digits in all four quarters, including four points in both the second and fourth quarters.

In the first quarter, Geneseo went up 11-8 and then extended its advantage to 21-12 at the half. The Lady Leafs scored 10 points in the second quarter, while Streator was held to four.

After the break, the Lady Leafs posted 15 points and held Streator to eight for a 36-20 score in favor of Geneseo. Both teams were held to single digits in the fourth quarter with Geneseo scoring nine and Streator, four.

DeGrave drained two shots from beyond the arc and two field goals to pace the Lady Leafs with 10 points, while Wiese and Griffin both scored nine — Wiese with a three pointer and three field goals and Griffin, three shots from the field and three free throws.

Witter finished the contest with five points as she went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and hit a field goal, followed by Storm with four points on two field goals.

Rounding out the scoring attack for the Lady Leafs were Bergeson, Ficken, Rice and Hudson all with two points — Bergeson, Rice and Hudson with a field goal apiece and Ficken, two free throws.

Geneseo vs. Ottawa

Despite outscoring the Lady Pirates 14-9 in the fourth quarter, it just wasn’t enough for the Lady Leafs to pull out the win Jan. 15 as Ottawa snagged a 43-38 NCIC win.

“Our inability to make baskets,” said Brucher of the difference maker in the Ottawa game. “We struggled to get any kind of flow offensively, but to the girls’ credit we battled back, but couldn’t get over the hump. It was a good basketball game and both teams fought hard.”

Ottawa held on to a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 11-10 and then extended its advantage to six, 26-20 at the half. The Lady Pirates scored 15 points in the second quarter, while the Lady Leafs finished with 10.

The third quarter was a low scoring quarter for both squads as Ottawa finished with eight and Geneseo was held to four. The Lady Pirates took the 34-24 lead into the fourth quarter. In the final minutes, Geneseo outshot Ottawa, 14-9, but the Lady Pirates still managed to come out on top.

Leading the effort for Geneseo was DeGrave with nine points on a three pointer and three field goals.

Griffin and Rice both chipped in eight points for the Lady Leafs ?— Griffin with four field goals and Rice, three field goals and hit 2-of-2 from the foul line.

Wiese added five points with a three pointer and a field goal, while Hudson finished with four on a field goal and two free throws. Witter ended the game with three points on one shot from beyond the arc, followed by Bergeson with one point on a free throw.

The Lady Leafs (17-4 overall and 5-2 in the NCIC) will next host Rock Island at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23.

Kelsey?Burress sinks a free throw for the Lady Leafs Jan. 19 against Morris.