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Lady Leafs catch 2 wins over Rock Island and UT

by Claudia Loucks correspondent

GENESEO’S DEFENSE STOPS ROCK ISLAND

Coach Scott Hardison stresses defense to the Lady Leafs and that is exactly what he got from them on Senior Night, Feb. 16, when they shut down Rock Island, 72-52.

“We don’t worry about our offense,” he said. “First and foremost is always our defense as a unit and physicality. We try to box out and rebound as much as we can, and then our offense follows.”

“I thought we stepped up to the physicality level of the Western Big 6 on Tuesday,” he said.

He credited the team for not “backing down” from the challenge they faced against Rock Island. After a tie ball game 29-29 at half time, the Geneseo girls stepped up to win the contest.

“I think our depth really showed through in the second half,” Hardison said. We generally play more girls than other teams do which allows us to generate more energy in the second half than our opponents.”

In keeping with the tradition of “Senior Night,” the starting line up was made up of lots of seniors and Coach Hardison said, “I really like that we started the game with lots of our seniors on the floor and we were able to finish the game with lots of seniors on the floor, which was fitting for Senior Night.”

All six of the seniors on the team played several minutes in the game.

“We started a different group of girls tonight and showed how deep we are on this team,” Hardison said. “We have kids that can flow right into the game and I feel we really wear teams down with that depth.”

Junior Kammie Ludwig totaled 26 points in the contest and Hardison credited her with a great performance and said, “She’s a steady player. You know what you’re going to get from her every night.”

Coach Hardison also praised Maddi Barickman for her 17 points and he said, “It’s really nice to have her and her sister (Abbi Barickman) back to make our team feel whole again.

The Barickman twins were absent from the Lady Leafs in games on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 due to a previous commitment with their club volleyball tournament.

Junior Ali Rapps contributed nine points for the win and sophomore Annie Wirth added to the score with eight points.

GENESEO SHUTS DOWN UTHS GIRLS

Defense wins basketball games is what Geneseo varsity girls’ basketball Coach Scott Hardison has told his teams since he started coaching at Geneseo 10 yers ago, and the Lady Leafs did just that in tier victory against UT on Feb. 19 at UTHS in East Moline.

After the game, Hardison said, “Defense can dictate how our team plays and tough pressure instills confidence in our shooters, knowing that we can shut our opponents down on the defensive end, and rebound well under our basket.”

The Lady Leafs led United Township 47-16 at half time and finished the contest 74-33.

Hardison commented that the week before the team played two conference games “shorthanded, without three of our seniors, but we are coming together in all aspects of the game. Our last two games have been the best so far this season, both offensively and defensively.”

He also cited the “Covid situation and the shortened season and said, “I’m impressed by the attitudes of our players, they are excited to play and compete, and our team chemistry is exceptional.”

Junior Kammie Ludwig led the scoring with 23 points – three 3-point shots.

Senior guard Maddi Barickman also had three 3-pointers and totaled 13 points as well as four assists.

Sophomore Annie Wirth had eight points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

“All 11 varsity players scored in the contest.”

The Lady Leafs celebrated Senior Night with a win over Rock Island on Feb. 16 in their home gym. Seniors and their parents were recognized at the game and they are, from left, Abbi and Maddi Barickman with parents, Kellie and John; Allie Mackey with parents Kris and Travis; Brenna McGuire with parents Karen and Patrick; Faith Henderson with parents Melanie and Eric; and Lily Wiese with mother Julie Wiese.