Looking like a team that wanted to put last week's back-to-back losses in the rearview mirror, Geneva started fast and furious against Mother McAuley Tuesday night.
Scoring the game's first 18 points, the Vikings (15-4) surged to a 29-6 lead in the opening quarter and never looked back during their 72-47 nonconference girls basketball triumph in Geneva.
Junior guard Margaret Whitley scored 10 points while senior center Grace Loberg added 6 points as the Vikings grabbed an 18-0 lead in the first 5-plus minutes.
"We kind of went through a little funk (last week)," said Whitley, who scored 15 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter. "We had two losses (to Oswego East and St. Charles North) that we felt we should have won.
"We had a team meeting and talked with the coaches. We know what it's going to take and how teams want to take us out. Every single game, we have to come out playing like it's our last."
Whitley hit 5 of her first 6 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, it help ignite the Vikings.
"Starting the game with that fire really gives us that energy and excitement we need in order to finish the game," said Whitley, who finished 8 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 5 from the 3-point arc.
Geneva's full-court press flustered the Mighty Macs (16-7) into committing 7 first-quarter turnovers.
"I wanted to start with the press and jump on them," said Vikings coach Sarah Meadows. "I thought we were capable of that against this team if our press could get going and we could convert those steals. You take the wind right out of them."
Mother McAuley coach Ashley Luke Clanton admitted as much after the game.
"They really came out strong," said Luke Clanton, who ranks second on the IHSA's all-time list for career 3-pointers (437) during her high school career at Waubonsie Valley. "I thought we would hold up a little better.
"The initial blast kind of sets you back. Against a team like that, it's tough to battle back."
Loberg scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in limited minutes due to foul trouble, while juniors Stephanie Hart had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals, and Madison Mallory added 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 3 steals.
Hart missed last week's loss to St. Charles North due to illness.
"I say it all the time to her but she's our glue," said Meadows. "She really keeps us under control and keeps us composed."
Freshman Lindsay Blackmore came off the bench to contribute 7 points and 4 rebounds for the Vikings.
"Lindsay had a great game tonight," said Meadows. "I thought she really stepped up and hit some big shots, had some good rebounds and played with a lot of energy."
Tara O'Malley led Mother McAuley with 17 points.
"They were playing at a high level tonight," Luke Clanton said of the Vikings.