Rivera reaches 1K the winning way

Chris Steele
Isaiah Rivera, center, checks out of the game against LaSalle-Peru after 
eclipsing 1,000 career points and helping lead Geneseo to a NIB 12 win.

The Maple Leafs’ basketball team defeated LaSalle-Peru with Isaiah Rivera eclipsing 1,000 career points, and Geneseo played Davenport North in the Genesis Shootout.

LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo

In his first touch down the floor, Geneseo’s Isaiah Rivera pulled up from about 30-feet to knock down a 3-pointer and reach 1,000 career points.

“I read the defense and it just happened,” Rivera said.

While Rivera added another 32 points, it was Geneseo’s team concepts which helped them to a 61-46 victory at Geneseo High School on Dec. 14.

After a 3-point heave from beyond midcourt gave LaSalle-Peru a 24-23 lead at halftime, Geneseo played shutdown defense in the second half and Rivera’s floor vision got everyone involved.

The Maple Leafs adjusted their zone defense to put more pressure on the Cavaliers in the post and held L-P to just 14 points in the second half until Geneseo subbed their reserves into the game.

On the offensive end, Geneseo was getting contributions from everyone running the floor and crashing the glass.

Jacob McConnell put back an offensive rebound to give Geneseo a 27-25 lead.

Rivera stole the ball for a dunk with 49 seconds remaining, and he made a pair of nifty passes to Anthony Pierce and Jacob McConnell for easy layups to end the quarter.

“It just shows our work is paying off,” Rivera said. “We aren’t just staying after practice and getting shots up for nothing. If you keep getting better every day, it’s going to turn out better in the long run.”

Jacob McConnell finished with six points, and Tim Lehman finished with five points and two rebounds.

Pierce scored seven points, and William Shaw and Joe McConnell each made 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

Geneseo’s Kade Ariano, Nathan VanDeWoestyne and Brennan Wages each scored two points.

After a slow start to the season, Geneseo can enjoy their first winning streak of the year.

“We knew we were young and we had to get after it,” Pierce said. “We’ve gone hard at practice these past two weeks and it has really paid off for us.”

Genesis Shootout

The Iowa teams ran the table on the Illinois side of the 25th annual Genesis Shootout.

Davenport North held off Geneseo 63-52 at Augustana’s Carver Center on Dec. 15.

Rivera finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds, Jacob McConnell and Kyle Traphagan each finished with five points and P.J. Moser finished with three points.

Geneseo’s Joe McConnell, Lehman and Pierce each scored two points.