Thursday night was a matchup any 6-foot-7 player would relish.
All three Geneva players listed at that height certainly took advantage of an undersized Streamwood team.
The Vikings scored 22 of their 25 field goals in the paint and dominated the boards in a 66-47 Upstate Eight River Division victory in Streamwood.
"We knew that we had a size advantage coming into the game. We're a big team," said Geneva junior Nate Navigato, one of those 6-7 players. "If we didn't get pound it inside, it would have been a waste of a game here."
Navigato finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Mike Landi had 15 points. Loudon Vollbrecht added 14 points and 12 rebounds. The trio combined for 17 field goals, 15 coming in the paint. The Vikings (8-2, 3-1) outrebounded the Sabres, 40-20. Streamwood has only two players listed over 6-2 on its roster.
Streamwood (1-8, 0-4) started quickly and led 9-4 with 3 ½ minutes left in the first quarter. The Vikings then went on a 21-4 run to take a 25-13 lead with 3:08 remaining in the second quarter. Streamwood got within 9, 30-21, at halftime before Geneva took control in the third quarter.
Navigato and Landi each had 5 points and Vollbrecht added a basket as the Vikings scored the first 12 points of the second half. Navigato and Landi each hit a 3-pointer in the run. The only other basket not in the paint in the game for Geneva was a free-throw line jumper from Justin Durante midway through the second quarter.
"I thought we were getting the kind of shots we wanted and not the kind of shots they wanted us to take," Vikings coach Phil Ralston said.
The Sabres tried zone defenses to negate the Vikings' size advantage, but after the first quarter little worked. Despite the 19-point loss, Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn saw positives from his team.
"I know the scoreboard and people that haven't been watching us might say they lost the game, they lost by 19, but to me they improved today," Kowalyszyn said. "We took a step in the right direction."
Cole Seger scored 18 points and had 5 rebounds to lead the Sabres. Jacob Siewert added 13 points.