After losing its opening-round game of the Montini Catholic Christmas Tournament, Geneva's girls basketball team made a goal for the remaining three contests.
"We decided right after that first game we lost that we were going to win the consolation bracket," said Geneva junior Janie McCloughan.
The Vikings (11-3) accomplished their goal with Saturday's convincing 64-37 victory over Zion-Benton in the consolation championship of the prestigious 4-day tournament in Lombard.
Geneva jumped all over the Zee-Bees early, limiting them to 1-for-11 shooting in the first quarter while building an 11-4 advantage.
The Vikings' lead swelled to as many as 16 points late in the second quarter at 28-12 before Zion-Benton scored 6 unanswered points to pull within 10 at 28-18 with 52 seconds left in the opening half.
With senior guard Sidney Santos on the bench in foul trouble, the Vikings received a big boost from junior reserve guard Courtney Reynolds right before halftime.
Reynolds (6 points) caught a pass from Bella Medina and canned a cold-blooded 3-pointer from the top of the key to beat the buzzer and give the Vikings a 31-18 halftime advantage.
"Courtney's 3-pointer gave us much more of a cushion," said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. "I said it to Lindsey (assistant coach Huettemann) that we needed that shot to fall. It gave us more momentum."
Geneva put the game out of reach with a 10-0 run in the third quarter that included 5 points from freshman Grace Loberg, a layup by Madeline Dunn and a 3-pointer from Morgan Seberger.
Seberger led a balanced attack with 16 points, while Loberg (13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals), Santos (12 points) and McCloughan (10 points, 12 rebounds) also reached double figures.
"Janie is a little bit like the old KG," Meadows said of former Viking Kelly Gordon. "She's always going to be in there scrapping. She gets boards. She has been having good minutes for us."
McCloughan enjoys doing some of the Vikings' dirty work.
"When I'm not shooting very well, I can always count on myself to hustle and go after loose balls," said McCloughan. "That's what Geneva basketball is -- we pride ourselves on getting rebounds, going after loose balls and stuff like that."
Geneva will head into the 2014 portion of its schedule with a modest 3-game winning streak.
"It gives us a little confidence," said Meadows. "I think that's where this team is right now. We needed some wins."
The Vikings enjoyed their maiden voyage to the Montini holiday tournament.
"The kids wanted to play with the best," said Meadows, whose team had participated in the Benet Academy/Naperville North tournament. "They were so jacked to come here when we changed to this tournament. I really think the kids liked the change, too."
Geneva will return to action against St. Charles North on Jan. 10.
"There's tons of room for improvement," said Meadows. "Now we'll have three days off and get five or six practices in before our game against North. We need practices right now."
Mia Yarbourgh led Zion-Benton with 9 points.