Geneseo Boys' Basketball summary - Week 1

by Claudia Loucks correspondent
Anthony Pierce
Kyle Traphagan
Bristol Lewis

Geneseo loses to Moline – 64-38

Geneseo varsity boys’ basketball coach Brad Storm is hoping for his Leafs to get back to full strength and personnel after a full week of competition that resulted in a win over Quincy and losses against Moline and Galesburg.

The season opener at Moline on Tuesday, Feb. 9, was “a valuable learning lesson,” Storm said. “We knew that Moline was a team closer to mid-season form and ready to compete at a high level and were already 2-0 vs. a couple quality schools.”

The Leafs were without a normal early season non-conference games where they can build up that game level intensity…”Our practices weren’t showing that level of intensity and urgency, so there was a concern of matching Moline’s levels,” Storm said. “Unfortunately, it played out that way.”

He added that it also provided a good film for his team to see…”We saw how our offensive was ineffective and why. We saw mistakes defensively. And we saw our effort and body language on film – and film doesn’t lie. There really weren’t a lot of positives in the game other than players growing from that experience, however, that is a valuable positive.” “Some guys came off the bench to do some good things which was nice to see. And, I think it will be a different game when we play them the next time,” Storm said.

Leafs Post Win Over Quincy – 58-48

On Friday, Feb. 12, the Leafs traveled to Blue Devil gymnasium in Quincy, and Coach Brad Storm said there was some growth and improvement from that Moline game just three days previously.

“We came out at the tip competing and executing better,” he said. “As a result, we got better looks and shots fell, which led to further energy and effort to play well. Defensively we were better, but offensively we made the biggest jump as we ran our offense much better. Most importantly, we competed harder.”

Junior Anthony Pierce hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Leafs a three point lead, and in the third quarter, the Leafs outscored Quincy 20-9, led by senior Kyle Traphagan’s three 3-pointers in that quarter to give Geneseo a 14-point lead.

Quincy picked up the pressure and tried to make a run, and we struggled to score like we had been, but we did play pretty good defense and make free throws, Coach Storm said. “We hit nine points in the third quarter (Bristol Lewis, a sophomore, was 6-6 then and 8-8 on the game from the line) to keep them at bay for a great win.”

Anthony Pierce led the scoring with 17 and Storm credited Pierce for getting “us off to the good start scoring 13 in the first half. From there, it was a much more balanced attack in the second half which made it hard for Quincy to defend. We had seven players score in the game.” - Bristol Lewis – 16; Kyle Traphagan – 12; PJ Moser – 6; Thomas Henson – 4; Andrew Cotty – 1 and Nathan VanDeWoestyne – 1.

Geneseo Defeated by Galesburg – 68-59

The Geneseo team returned from Quincy shortly before midnight on Friday, Feb. 12, knowing that they would be facing the Galesburg Silver Streaks in their home gym on Saturday, Feb. 13.

“We assumed that for Saturday night’s game there might be some issues from an emotional win that also drained them physically, combined with the late night,” Coach Storm said. “But, we also knew Galesburg was coming off the same number of games and an exhausting game physically and emotionally Friday night as well with a win over Moline.”

He said the first half of Saturday’s game “looked like two teams trying to just tread water. It was a bit sloppy and at times it was not as intense as normal between two conference teams.”

The Leafs went into the locker room at half time down 20-24. In the third quarter, Storm said, “Galesburg got back up to Western Big 6 intensity and kind of ‘punched us in the mouth, and we didn’t really respond very well. We started getting frustrated; started acting tired and looked like we were giving up to them. That was disappointing as they outscored us by 14 in that quarter. However, I was proud of how our boys bounced back and didn’t totally fold.”

The lead was cut to 10 with a few minutes to go in the contest.

“Our guys kind of had Galesburg on their heels a bit,” Storm said. “But, the Silver Streaks did a good job of willing their way to a couple buckets to keep us at arm’s length and we didn’t’ get it to single digits until it was too late. There were things that we, again, had to try to do on the fly because we haven’t had the practices to go over some situations.”

Bristol Lewis led the scoring with 22 points and Anthony Pierce added 16 points…”But we weren’t as balanced overall,” Storm said. “Thomas Henson had 8 and Kyle Traphagan hit for 7 points. PJ Moser had 3 points and Nathan VanDeWoestyne had one basket.”

Coach Storm said, “I think we learned some more in that Galesburg game, which is what we need to do when we don’t really get practices to work on things because almost every practice is a prep for an opponent as well. It’s a Covid-induced schedule that is not conducive to individual and team improvement with practices like I’d prefer, so we really have to grow and learn on the fly in games. Also, as a coach, I learn as well. I maybe could have made some different adjustments, subbed differently, etc., so the learning about our team as we go is for all of us.”

He is hopeful that the team will be “full strength with personnel this week.”

Returning starter Kade Ariano returns from illness and sophomore Will Taylor is recovering from an ankle sprain that has kept him out of all the games so far.

“Combine that with continued growth by players and we hope to rise to another level as a team,” Storm said. “We need all players to step things up in practice more than for that to happen. Our goal is to keep getting better, to move from point A to points B, C, D, and to wherever we can get to in this short season. Games are checkpoints to help us determine if we are progressing and there will be wins and losses along that journey. We just need to embrace each day because anything happen to take away these opportunities we have together, and if we continue to grow as a team then we can consider it a good experience.”

The Leafs travel to Rock Island on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and will then host United Township at home on Friday, Feb. 19.

Storm said Saturday’s game, Feb. 20, vs. Alleman has been postponed due to their “pause” on the season.