Chemistry keeps Lady Leafs winning

Chris Steele
The Lady Leafs’ basketball team cheers during the fourth quarter of Geneseo’s victory over Stark County. 
Pictured are, from left: Kammie Ludwig, Maddi Barickman, Hannah Himmelman, Tori Verbeck, Keeli Frerichs and Josie Brown.

The Lady Leafs’ basketball team found a way to turn a problem into a strength.

Geneseo defeated Stark County 60-23 with improved passing and dynamic defense to move their record to 11-0 with the win at Geneseo on Dec. 12.

After a Stark County timeout with 6:34 remaining in the second quarter, Geneseo outscored Stark County going on a 23-3 run to take a 38-12 lead by halftime.

Just 24 hours earlier during Geneseo’s game against LaSalle-Peru, the Lady Leafs committed 23 turnovers.

However, the Lady Leafs’ crisp passing against Stark County helped them separate after a sloppy start to the second quarter.

“We watched film of ourselves (against LaSalle-Peru) and our passing wasn’t where it needed to be,” Geneseo Coach Scott Hardison said. “I think they really took it to heart and made good passes.”

Josie Brown made a perfect pass to Kaitlyn Webster for a layup to give Geneseo a 26-9 lead, and Maddi Barickman stole the ball to set up another Webster score a possession later.

In the second half, Lauren Pardoe made a quick pass to lead Kammie Ludwig to the basket for an easy score.

Geneseo’s Webster and Hannah Himmelman turned passes in the low block into 10 points each, and Maddi Barickman finished with 11 points including three 3-pointers.

Ludwig tallied eight points, and Pardoe finished with seven points.

A freshman, Ludwig has fit right into GHS’ mostly upperclassmen team, and she says they have made her a part of everything they do.

With the team off to an 11-0 start, Ludwig believes the team has clicked so well because of the trust they have in each other.

“This team has a bond like no other,” Ludwig said. “I’ve never had this with a team before. We are just like sisters. We can tell each other anything, and I think it really helps us on the court.”

Brown scored five points, and Abbi Barickman knocked down a 3-pointer.

Geneseo’s Adia Raya, Keeli Frerichs and Tori Verbeck each finished with two points.