Geneseo boys' basketball update

Claudia Loucks
Bristol Lewis
Anthony Pierce
Nathan VandeWoestyne

Geneseo Boys’ Basketball Coach Brad Storm said after coming off a win at Orion where Geneseo struggled in their third game in the same week, Quincy, UTHS and Orion, “we knew we needed to step up our game coming back home to face Rock Island.”

The Geneseo vs. Rock Island game was held Jan. 21 at Geneseo.

“Rock Island has been maybe playing the best basketball of all WB6 teams since they lost to Quincy and struggled at the Christmas tournament they were at,” Coach Storm said. “They are very athletic, very strong and pretty skilled. Combine that with aggressive play with a deep bench and that meant that we needed to really play our A game. We needed to compete better than we have in several games so far this January.”

The Rocks came out strong and took a 9-2 lead, but the Maple Leafs did anything but fold. With Anthony Pierce knocking down perimeter shots and Bristol Lewis scoring in multiple ways the first quarter, Geneseo cut the lead to be behind by one at 13-12. At the end of the quarter, the score was even closer at 17-16 in favor of Rock Island.

Pierce and Lewis combined for all 16 of Geneseo’s points in the opening period.

The Leafs tied the game and took a lead early in the second quarter at 19-17. Then things turned for a few possessions…At the half, Rock Island held a 38-22 lead.

“I felt like the game was being played very physical, and only one foul had been called on them throughout the first 10 minutes,” Varsity Coach Brad Storm said. “They were very physical on our ball handlers, and not only were we not getting the calls I thought we could be getting, we got called for an offensive foul trying to protect ourselves. I felt like I needed to fight for my guys who were really giving everything on the court and I expressed my opinion to the officials.”

Even with the 16-point hole, Geneseo didn’t fold. Rock Island came out and slightly extended the lead, but the Maple Leafs showed some competitiveness and cut into the lead.

Nathan VanDeWoestyne scored 4 of his 6 points during a Maple Leaf run that saw Lewis score 5 more and Pierce put in 4 more. The Rocks, however, were able to eventually extend the lead by 3 as they outscored Geneseo 16-13 in the third quarter.

Tayt Hager scored all 5 of his points in the fourth quarter. The Rocks outscored the Maple Leafs by 3 in the fourth quarter to reach the final 72-49 score.

“I was proud of our overall effort,” Coach Storm said. “The guys have done a good job of continuing to improve during a difficult season. As coaches, it’s hard to ask for more than that right now.”