Chris Parrilli failed to score from the field for Geneva in the final quarter Friday.
But his intangibles in the last quarter against Waubonsie Valley preserved the Vikings' 44-39 win in Geneva.
Meeting in the runners-up Upstate Eight Conference crossover contest, Parrilli, who led all scorers with 16 points, converted a pair of free throws with just under five seconds to play to ice the Vikings' win.
In becoming the only player from either team to convert a free throw, Parrilli was indispensable to the Vikings' 22nd win this year, the most since the 1981-82 season.
In the final minute of the game, Parrilli had a key block to preserve the Vikings' 3-point lead, snared a key defensive rebound -- only moments after committing a charging foul -- and then sealed the game with his 2 free throws.
Geneva (22-5) did not score over the final five minutes and 35 seconds of regulation after Pace Temple hit a 3-pointer to give Geneva it largest lead of the game at 42-34.
"We missed an awful lot of easy baskets," Geneva coach Phil Ralston said.
Waubonsie Valley (18-9), with starters Nick Karkazis, Matt Gialamas, Jack Cordes and Chris Karkazis logging all 32 minutes, shaved its deficit to 42-39 on Chris Karkazis' 3-pointer with 1:46 remaining.
The Warriors would have three chances to tie the game, only to fall short.
"We didn't want to give them any second-chance points)," Parrilli said of the closing stretch. "I was lucky (the referee) didn't call a foul on me (on the pivotal block)."
Waubonsie Valley sprinted out of the gate with the first 7 points. But rebounding turned the tide for Geneva.
Limiting Waubonsie Valley to 3 individual rebounds in the opening half, Cam Cook completed a 16-5 Geneva run bridging the opening two quarters to give the Vikings the lead for good.
"That was one of the keys to the game," Waubonsie Valley coach Chaz Taft said. "We had to win the war on the boards. We didn't do that."
Parrilli was outstanding for Geneva in the second quarter, turning in three 3-point possessions to give the Vikings a 25-21 lead at the intermission.
"I had my teammates find me," Parrilli said. "I was wide open."
Waubonsie Valley, which lost fifth starter Jay DeHaan to disqualification on fouls midway through the final period, forged one last tie, 30-30, on Gialamas' inside score.
Cook broke the final tie on the ensuing possession, and Parrilli had the last of his 3-point field goals on the next trip.
Waubonsie Valley never came closer than 3 points the remainder of the game.
It was not due to poor shot selection.
"I cannot tell you how many bunnies we missed right under the basket," Taft said.
Mike Landi and Temple finished with 8 points each for Geneva.
Cordes' 11 points paced Waubonsie Valley; the Karkazis' combined for 17 points.