Lady Leafs heat up fast

Chris Steele
Maddi Barickman, left, drives the lane for a layup during Geneseo’s game against St. Bede.

The Lady Leafs needed a half to warm up before they started firing on all cylinders.

Geneseo girls' ball team knocked off all the rust in the second half by stringing together a 20-4 run to defeat St. Bede 52-26 during their opening game of the Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 12.

Geneseo led 16-11 at halftime, but everything was out of out-of-sync in the first half and shots from close range just wouldn’t fall.

“I think it was some first game jitters especially for myself,” said Hannah Himmelman, a senior. “It’s always nerve-wracking to start a season. I think we all had to get it out of our system in the first half.”

In the second half, Maddi Barickman hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the second half to get the Geneseo offense back on track.

“I feel like everyone stayed positive and we didn’t stop shooting the ball,” Maddi Barickman said. “Once shots started going in, we started pushing the ball. We got a lot of energy from our bench and we just kept going.”

Maddi Barickman made two 3-pointers and made a pair of free throws in the opening five minutes of the third quarter, and she finished with a game-high 13 points.

However, the Lady Leafs’ floor vision helped break the game open with sharp passes.

A freshman, Kammie

Ludwig found Himmelman for an assist for an easy layup.

Ludwig finished her first varsity game with six points and a team-high three assists.

Maddi Barickman’s pass found Josie Brown streaking to the basket for an easy layup, and Maddi Barickman assisted Himmelman with a sharp pass into the post to

extend the lead to 34-13.

The Leafs’ ability to run the floor was a weapon at times, Ludwig made a quick pass to Brown at midcourt and Brown took two dribbles before floating a pass to a wide-open Himmelman in the post.

“You got to make a pass to a person when they are open,” Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison said. “I think in the first half we were just a half second late. That’s beginning of the season jitters, timing and finally getting on the floor to play somebody else. I thought we kind of cleaned that up in the second half.”

Himmelman finished with eight points, and Brown added six points.

Keeli Frerichs and Kaitlyn Webster each scored six points with hustle.

Webster grabbed an offensive rebound and scored during Geneseo’s 20-4 run, and Frerichs grabbed an offensive rebound and scored.

Abbi Barickman used her size inside to grab an offensive rebound and put the ball in for a score to extend the lead to 50-22.

Brown finished with six points, and Abbi Barickman tallied five points.

Lauren Pardoe weaved her way through traffic for a layup in the third quarter.

With the win to start the season, Geneseo extends its home winning streak to six-game dating back to last season.

“We need to work on developing connections better with screening, seeing the offense, talking to each other and rotating,” Maddi Barickman said. “I feel like once we get that done we will be pretty much unstoppable.”