It's not ordinary for a player to start the season on the JV team, get called up to varsity, then lead her team in scoring her first four games.
Grace Loberg is not your ordinary player.
Geneva's 6-foot-2 freshman, after a sensational fall when she was front and center on the Vikings' first girls volleyball sectional championship team, is making some kind of impact on the basketball court.
Loberg moved into the starting lineup Thursday and scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 4 shots in the Vikings' 57-40 victory over St. Joseph at the Montini Christmas Tournament.
"I started basketball at a young age with the Geneva feeder program and I've been playing ever since," Loberg said. "I like basketball. I love the team. They are all so nice. They welcomed me. I love playing with them, and I love (coach Sarah) Meadows."
Loberg made her presence felt on both ends Thursday, not only again leading Geneva in scoring but also making life miserable for St. Joseph's shooters. Three of her blocked shots came on mid-range jumpers, using her long arms to reach out and leave the St. Joseph jump shooter stunned her shot had just been blocked.
"She's doing work down there, she's doing a nice job," Meadows said. "She's so long. She blocks shots and gets deflections and adds a lot down there too.
"We just did it slow (moving Loberg to varsity) to make sure she's comfortable and make sure she's going to get time. Maybe we should have done it a lot sooner," Meadows said smiling.
Loberg was especially dangerous with passing whiz Sidney Santos at the top of the key feeding her down low. Santos finished with half of her 10 assists to Loberg while adding 5 steals and 9 points.
Loberg scored Geneva's first 5 points. Morgan Seberger followed by shot-faking from the 3-point line and pulling up for two baseline jumpers, and Janie McCloughan ended the first quarter with 2 free throws with no time on the clock for a 13-10 lead.
The Vikings broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring St. Joseph 19-4. Abby Novak, who played despite being under the weather, provided one of the highlights with a steal and assist to McCloughan for a layup during a 10-0 Geneva run.
St. Joseph made just 5 of its 22 shots in the first half to fall behind 32-14, and Santos opened the second half with one of her two 3-pointers. Seberger drilled a trio of 3s as part of her 15-point game, and McCloughan added 14 points and 6 rebounds.
"It was good to see Morgan back in the mix," Meadows said. "She played a great game."
Geneva plays South Elgin in the consolation semifinals at 1:15 p.m. Friday. The teams played Dec. 3 with the Vikings winning 72-66 in overtime after Seberger nailed a late 3 to force OT.
The Vikings played Thursday without point guard Michaela Loebel (knee) and sophomore reserve Taylor Wiliams who was in San Diego watching her brother Matt play for Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl.