Lady Leafs win Championship at Holiday Tournament

Claudia Loucks
The Lady Leafs continued to make history at the State Farm Holiday Classic tournament held in Bloomington as they captured the championship title for the second time in school history when they beat Washington, 52-49. With their trophy are, in front from left, Annie Turpin, Mia Kelly, Kammie Ludwig, Jordan Porter, Ali Rapps, Addison Smith, Kaitlyn Seaman and Claire Toone; in back, Coach Scott Hardison, Grace Jarvis, Kaidence Schweitzer, Danielle Beach Annie Wirth, Addison Griffin, Sierra Krueger, Johnna Fulcher, Taylor Krueger, Coach Ryan Kelly and technical director Jesse Dobbels.

For the second time in the history of the Geneseo Lady Leafs, the team won the championship title in the State Farm Holiday Classic tournament held at Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington.

Head Coach Scott Hardison said Geneseo “played in the championship game at the State Farm Holiday Classic for the first time in 20 years.”

It was 2001 when the Leafs previously won the holiday competition.

Hardison said Geneseo “had to fight a let down after the big win against Morton the night before. Geneseo came out and looked sluggish in the first half against a very good Washington team.”

“Washington forced the game to be played at their pace and the Lady Leafs struggled to make outside buckets,” he said. “The Leafs battled back to tie the game just before halftime only to see Washington hit a bucket at the buzzer to go up going into halftime.”

With Geneseo behind by 11 points in the third quarter, senior captain Kammie Ludwig stepped into action with an and-one. After that, the Lady Leafs added 20 points.

The Lady Leafs picked up their full court pressure to try to change the speed of the game and as soon as they started dictating the pace, the game got much more competitive for Geneseo.

The game was tied with about a minute to go and the Leafs ran off 50 seconds on the clock and called a timeout to set up a last shot. Even though Geneseo executed the play well, the ball got stripped, taking the game into overtime.

“In overtime, Danielle Beach took over,” Hardison said. “She hit a three-point bucket and made five of six free-throws in the overtime period. The Lady Leafs prevailed by three to win the State Farm Holiday Classic.”

Geneseo was led in scoring by Danielle Beach with 20 points; Ludwig had 13 points and Annie Wirth had 10.