Nick Geske has suffered through a bothersome ankle injury during the early portion of the 2012-2013 boys basketball season.
The Crystal Lake South senior guard certainly didn't have any lingering affects of the injury Saturday night.
Scoring 22 points, which included 2 3-pointers, Geske's effort propelled the Gators to a 65-57 nonconference win over Libertyville at South's Gator Alley.
"I am still out of shape, but I felt really good tonight," said Geske. "We pushed the ball early in the game and got easy baskets. This team shares the ball very well and we are not a selfish team."
Though proficient on offense, the Gators set the tone in the game on the defensive end.
Tallying the first 7 points of the game, which included a pair of baskets from Geske, the Gators (2-2) held the Tigers without a basket for nearly 4 minutes until Matt Varner scored on a conventional 3-pointer to make the score 7-3. Leading 14-7 after one quarter and 29-22 at halftime, the Gators' biggest lead was 12, 39-27, after a layup by Geske with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Libertyville (1-4) kept battling and got to within 4 of the Gators, 56-52, after a 3-pointer by Drew Cayce with 1:56 left in the game. The Tigers couldn't get any closer.
The Gators' final 9 points of the game came from the free throw line. Geske connected on 5 from the stripe, while Max Meitzler and Alex Bartusch made 2 each.
Joining Geske in double digits was Meitzler with 10 points. The senior center also grabbed 7 rebounds with 3 assists.
"I like the way we started the game," said first-year Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage. "We got easy baskets and we shared the ball well. We did a good job on defense covering the wings and we didn't give them many easy shots. It was a good win."
Varner paced Libertyville with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Connor Clark came off the Tiger bench to score 13 points which included 3 3-pointers.
"Starting slow has been the story of our season," said Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil. "We were chasing all night and our defensive effort to start the game was very disappointing. We missed so many easy shots and layups. The bright spot was Connor Clark. He was sick all day, but he gave us a great effort. Give South credit. They are quick and made some big shots."