2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/11/2017 1:23 AM

Geneva wins UEC River in a blowout

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  • Geneva's Madeline Yelle looses the ball as she runs into the illegal block of St. Charles East's Samantha Munroe Friday in Geneva.

      Geneva's Madeline Yelle looses the ball as she runs into the illegal block of St. Charles East's Samantha Munroe Friday in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Grace Loberg grabs a rebound against St. Charles East's Sara Rosenfeldt Friday in Geneva.

      Geneva's Grace Loberg grabs a rebound against St. Charles East's Sara Rosenfeldt Friday in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Madeline Yelle pushes through the defense of St. Charles East's Ashley DiOrio.

      Geneva's Madeline Yelle pushes through the defense of St. Charles East's Ashley DiOrio.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Samantha Munroe shoots in a crowd of Geneva players Friday in Geneva.

      St. Charles East's Samantha Munroe shoots in a crowd of Geneva players Friday in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva teammates Madison Mallory and Grace Loberg stretch for a rebound against St. Charles East Friday in Geneva.

      Geneva teammates Madison Mallory and Grace Loberg stretch for a rebound against St. Charles East Friday in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Geneva selected the theme from "Rocky" to play as the Vikings and St. Charles East walked onto the court for the opening tip Friday night in their showdown for the Upstate Eight Conference River Division championship.

The choice turned out to be prophetic -- the Vikings won this one with a knockout.

Geneva outscored the Saints 10-2 to open the game, went on a 21-3 run over the first six minutes of the second quarter, then came out of the locker room after halftime with the first 10 points of the third quarter.

By that time Geneva held a staggering 49-18 lead in a game it went on to win 69-48 to claim the outright River title.

"I thought we played really well," junior guard Margaret Whitley said. "We've been shooting well and more people have been contributing than the beginning of the season. It's showing how strong of an overall team we have."

The Vikings have won 8 straight, none by less than 22 points. But this blowout came over a Saints team that entered at 22-4.

"This game was really important to us," said Geneva senior center Grace Loberg, who had 26 points, 17 rebounds and 4 steals playing for the last time on a court she starred on for four years in both volleyball and basketball.

"After four years it's sad to think this is the last time I'll play here and play in front of an amazing crowd. It's sadder than I thought it would be."

No. 4 Geneva (22-4, 11-1) and No. 8 St. Charles East (22-5, 10-2) will play a third time if both teams win regional championships next week.

The Saints will need to do almost everything differently than they did Friday. Geneva shot 59.1 percent from the field (29 of 49), won the rebounding battle 31-20, and committed fewer turnovers.

"They are tough," Saints coach Lori Drumtra. "They beat us in every single category. Offensively we missed shots but I was more disappointed in our defense. They had too many easy baskets. I think in the fist half they just manhandled us."

Geneva honored the retiring Drumtra before the game. The Vikings started seniors Emily Uplegger, Kyla Chenier, Emma Harkleroad and Loberg along with Whitley.

Loberg quickly scored the first two Geneva baskets, Whitley drove for another and Loberg converted inside while being fouled to force Drumtra's first timeout down 8-2.

Geneva then brought regular starters Stephanie Hart, Maddy Yelle and Brie Borkowicz in, and it didn't take long for Yelle to score two layups and Hart to knock down a 3-pointer.

Sara Rosenfeldt, who had a career-high 38 points in the first meeting, kept the Saints within 17-11 after one quarter by scoring 9 of St. Charles East's first-quarter points. But things got out of hand in a hurry in the second, starting with another 3-point basket from Hart.

Madison Mallory and Whitley hit back-to-back 3s moments later to make it 29-14, and after a Lindsay Blackmore trey and Loberg's conventional 3-point play, it was 39-14 Geneva.

"We had a game plan going in and I thought our kids did an excellent job executing what we wanted to do," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "They tried to play us zone a couple times and they just couldn't. We were lights out."

Rosenfeldt led the Saints with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Sam Munroe added 10 points, but it wasn't nearly enough against Loberg, Hart (15 points), Whitley (7) and company.

"It's awesome to have this game before playoffs," Loberg said. "I think it's all clicking at the right time which is really nice."

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