Lady Leafs win WB6 Conference

by Claudia Loucks correspondent
The Geneseo Lady Leafs with team technical director Jesse Dobbels pose for a photo after wining the Western Big 6 conference title.

It was a hard-fought win for the Geneseo Lady Leafs, but they accomplished the goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the season.

. On Tuesday, March 9, at Rock Island, the Geneseo girls claimed the Western Big 6 conference title for the second consecutive year.

The outcome of the contest was decided in overtime with Geneseo on top 59-58, and with the exciting win, the Lady Leafs clinched the conference title.

In recapping the exciting night at rock island, Coach Scott Hardison said, “With no post season allowed this year, the conference championship was the only thing to play for and was our focus from the start.”

With pride in his voice, Coach Scott Hardison said, “Tonight was a hard-fought win for our girls and we were able to battle back and force it to overtime, and the key late was our makes at the free-throw line.”

Geneseo was 17 of 24 at the free-throw line, including some winning clutch shots by senior Maddi Barickman in the overtime, who totaled 4 out of 5 from the free-throw line in regular time and 3 out of 4 in overtime.

Even though Rock Island had a 42-37 lead with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Geneseo battled back with an 11-6 run to force overtime in a game tied at 48.

Coach Hardison said his team came out in the second quarter “and started playing all the way through the possession. We put the pressure right back on them. They came out with some great play in the first quarter and had a nice game plan, but once we were able to settle in we did just enough to win.”

Kammie Ludwig led the scoring with 23 points and Maddi Barickman chipped in 10 points including the tying bucket with 3 seconds left on the clock in regulation time.

Sophomore Annie Wirth had 17 points with 17 rebounds and 17 points in 8 of 10 shooting from the field. She also had three blocks and two steals to help out on defense.

Hardison added, “Ali Rapps played her regular stellar defense controlling the perimeter on the defensive end.”