If Jack Callaghan didn't make a shot, the junior does enough other things to make him one of the most valuable players on the court for St. Charles North.
So just imagine what a lift it is for the North Stars to see Callaghan hitting like he did Friday at Geneva.
Callaghan made four 3-pointers and scored 16 points, while also chipping in his normal work on the boards (10 rebounds) and heady ball movement, helping the North Stars notch a key 64-57 win that keeps them a game back of Larkin in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division.
"It was nice having my jump shot back because I haven't had it all season," Callaghan said. "Conference rival on the road, it's a big win. We hate them, they hate us, we came in tonight with that mentality and I think it showed throughout the course of the game. We needed a win."
St. Charles North (8-5, 4-1) ran a lot of pick and rolls with its two electric guards Alec Goetz (18 points) and Jake Ludwig (14 points) driving. When Geneva left Callaghan on the pick and pop, he canned a number of big shots.
"Jack can score 4 points and impact the game as much as anybody," North Stars coach Tom Poulin said. "His jump shot was there tonight and that was good to see. That makes us a lot better. Jack is our glue guy. We play better when he's on the floor."
The Vikings took their biggest lead 23-17 midway through the second quarter on a spin move by Nate Navigato and Pace Temple's drive. A Callaghan 3 cut the deficit to 25-23, and a Goetz steal and breakaway layup tied the game at 25.
Geneva big man Loudon Volbrecht was whistled for a technical after getting tangled with Chase Gianacakos, and free throws from Ludwig and Goetz followed by a no-look pass from Callaghan on a fastbreak to Garrett Johnson (8 points) capped a 12-0 run to put the North Stars up 32-25.
Geneva answered with a Temple 3 to end the first half, a floater from Justin Durante, and Navigato's pullup to tie the game at 32, setting up a slugfest of a third quarter with 5 lead changes and 5 ties.
Callaghan's pair of 3s late in the quarter and Ludwig's drive for a 3-point play after Durante had put Geneva up 42-37 with a 3 of his own, sent the North Stars to the fourth quarter ahead 48-46.
The North Stars held the Vikings scoreless for almost five minutes to open the fourth and never trailed again, leading by as much as 58-51. Chris Parrilli rebounded his own missed free throw and scored, pulling the Vikings within 59-57 with 47 seconds to go.
After a Goetz free throw, Geneva missed a potential tying 3 with 25 seconds left, and Goetz hit his final 4 free throws to ice the game.
Geneva (13-4, 3-3) placed four players in double figures: Navigato and Durante with 14 each, Parrilli with 11 and Temple 10.
Parrilli, fighting the flu, came off the bench. It wasn't the Vikings' offense that was the problem, according to coach Phil Ralston.
"Our transition defense was poor. We gave them far too many opportunities where they were attacking the basket," Ralston said. "We are not the defensive team we have had in the past. I don't have a good explanation for why that is.
"It came down to this, who imposed their will. And by and large their guards had their way with (us)."