Maple Leafs want an improved mind-set

Chris Steele
Jacob McConnell, right, shoots a 3-pointer during Geneseo’s game against IVC.

The Maple Leafs’ basketball team closed out the Central Bank Thanksgiving Tournament and hosted IVC.

Kewanee at Geneseo

The Boilers’ Kavon Russell hit a 3-pointer as time expired to down the Maple Leafs 58-55 in Geneseo on Nov. 21.

Geneseo’s Isaiah Rivera scored 23 points by halftime to help lead the Maple Leafs to a 32-28 halftime lead.

A sophomore, Rivera finished with 33 points in the game, and P.J. Moser finished with six points.

Kyle Traphagan finished with nine points and hit a 3-pointer and jumper in the lane late to help Geneseo tie the game.

Jacob McConnell scored four points, and Joseph McConnell finished with three points.

Rock Falls at Geneseo

Rock Falls dominated in the second half to defeat the Maple Leafs 66-34 in Geneseo on Nov. 23.

Rock Falls outscored Geneseo 34-9 in the second half to put away the game and improve to 3-0 on the season.

Rivera continued his stellar play finishing with 25 points and six rebounds.

Payton Swan knocked down a 3-pointer, and Kade Ariano tallied two points and three rebounds.

Jacob McConnell scored two points and added three rebounds, and Tim Lehman finished with two points.

United Township at Geneseo

The Maple Leafs’ second-half woes continued falling 46-30 against the Panthers in Geneseo on Nov. 24.

Geneseo led 24-22 at halftime, but UT outscored the Maple Leafs 17-6 in the second half to take the final game of the tournament.

Rivera finished with 17 points and five rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team.

Traphagan tallied seven points, and Lehman finished with four points.

The Leafs’ Moser grabbed four rebounds and three steals.

Illinois Valley Central at Geneseo

The Maple Leafs fell victim to a second-half slide during an 82-49 loss against IVC in Geneseo on Nov. 27.

In a rematch of last seasons regional quarterfinal game, Geneseo hung tough in the first half but trailed 35-25 at halftime.

Geneseo looked to buck the second half trend with a good start in the third quarter.

P.J. Moser drew a foul and made a pair of free throws, and Isaiah Rivera tightened the score to 36-30 by converting a three-point play.

However, the wheels came off for Geneseo after IVC went on a 20-6 run to balloon the score to 56-36.

“We aren’t doing a good job in when it comes to the mental toughness aspect,” Geneseo Coach Brad Storm said. “We have to fix that because it leads to negative play. Negative thoughts lead to negative play and that’s what was happening out there. You could just see it, and they fed off it.”

Rivera finished with 27 points and three rebounds and was putting on a show in the first half.

IVC’s Holt Geltmaker was able to answer on the other end scoring 22 points.

In the first quarter, IVC made a few runs but Rivera was able to keep the score close making a pair of free throws and stealing the inbound to drain a 3-pointer.

In the second quarter, Rivera scored six consecutive Geneseo points to make it a single possession game at 20-17.

In the second half, the Grey Ghosts were able to get to the rim and hit back-breaking 3-pointers to take the wind out of Geneseo’s sails.

“Other teams crank it up in the second half,” Storm said. “We don’t respond very well to that yet. We kind of are waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen. We aren’t to that point yet where we are doing those things it takes to win.”

Moser finished with six points and four rebounds, and Jacob McConnell finished with a pair of 3-pointers.

Kyle Traphagan added four points, and Ariano grabbed four rebounds.

Anthony Pierce, Joseph McConnell and Tim Lehman each finished with two points.