Maple Leafs win back-to-back at tourney

Chris Steele
Jarron Nordstrom, right, drives through the lane during Geneseo's game against United Township at the Central Bank Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Geneseo boys’ basketball team tested United Township and picked up a pair of wins at the Central Bank Thanksgiving Tournament.

Geneseo vs. United Township

The Maple Leafs’ inexperience reared its ugly head in the second half against the Panthers in Geneseo on Nov. 25.

Geneseo was able to pull within four points in the fourth quarter, however, United Township was able to close out the game from the free-throw line for a 49-34 victory.

“When we needed to make a play it wouldn’t get done,” Geneseo coach Brad Storm said. “Then on the other end, they did get it done. I think the mistakes were fixable things.

“With reps and experience like this, we are going to make those plays later, but they have guys right now coming off an elite eight appearance.”

Geneseo’s Jacob Pauley sliced through the lane for a layup to cut UT’s lead to 35–28 with 7:22 remaining.

Anthony Bravata made a nice move underneath the basket to draw closer at 35-30 on the next Geneseo possession to tighten up the game.

Keaton Rice made a pair of free throws to cut into UT’s lead 36–32 with 4:15 left, and UT’s offense was bogged down and called a timeout to regroup.

The Panthers’ Trey Buchanan was able to get the basket in the first half, but Geneseo’s defense was able to stop him from penetrating to the hoop in the second half.

The Maple Leafs’ Charlie Wiese and Bravata locked up Buchanan to settle for contested shots.

“If we can just compete, we can beat a lot of these teams on our schedule,” Strom said. “At the same time, if we don’t we can get beat by every team on our schedule. We have very little room for error unless we compete like that every time.”

Buchanan finished with a game-high 20 points, but he was an uncharacteristic 7-of-21 from the floor.

Geneseo’s offense just wasn’t able to match its defense.

The Leafs made mistakes and forced passes on offense in the second half.

The miscues allowed UT to take a 35-26 lead by the end of the third quarter, and more mistakes enabled the Panthers to nail down the game at the line in the fourth quarter.

Pauley was outstanding scoring 13 points, and Bravata finished with eight points.

Geneseo vs. Chicago Ag. Science

The Maple Leafs nabbed a 58-55 victory over Chicago Ag. Science in the night game in Geneseo on Nov. 25.

The Leafs couldn’t match the same intensity they found against United Township in the first game but managed to grind out a win.

Geneseo’s Bravata drained a 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining for a 55-51 advantage, and Jarron Nordstrom sunk a pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Geneseo got hot from beyond the arc early making seven of their first 10 3-point attempts.

Freshman Isaiah Rivera finished with a team-high 16 points for Geneseo.

Bravata scored 15 points making 5-of-9 from 3-point range.

Rice and Pauley each scored 14 points, and Nordstrom finished with seven points.

Geneseo vs. Rock Falls

The Maple Leafs Pauley scored 22 points to help lead Geneseo past Rock Falls 62-50 in Geneseo on Nov. 26.

Pauley continued his hot start to the season making 10-of-13 from the field to go along with nine rebounds.

Geneseo was locked in making 27-of-46 from the floor (59 percent).

Bravata scored 17 points, making 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

Rivera dropped in 12 points, and Noah Aper finished with five points.

Geneseo’s Pauley and Bravata were named to the all-tournament team.

It was the fourth time Bravata has been named a member of the all-tournament team.