With each passing day, Geneva senior Grace Loberg knows that her tremendous Vikings athletic career is coming to an end.
And now that the girls basketball postseason is here, Loberg wants to make the most out of every game she and her teammates play.
Loberg's athleticism and determination were on display from the opening tip Friday night as she and the top-seeded Vikings dominated York to the tune of a 54-30 win at the Class 4A Hoffman Estates regional final.
"It just means so much to me right now," said Loberg, the Wisconsin volleyball signee who had 15 points and 15 rebounds in Geneva's ninth straight regional championship. "These are going to be the last games I play in a Geneva jersey and my last basketball games so I just want to enjoy it and get the most out of it I can."
Next on the agenda for Geneva (24-4) is a date with No. 5 seed Wheaton Warrenville South (21-8) in the 6 p.m. sectional semifinal Monday at Glenbard West. WWS upended No. 4 seed St. Charles East 51-45 for the SCE regional title on Thursday.
The Vikings jumped out to a 14-2 lead on Friday and never looked back. Loberg had 6 points and 6 rebounds and junior Margaret Whitley scored 7 of her game-high 18 points in the first as Geneva led 16-6 after the initial quarter, a lead the Vikes stretched to 33-11 by halftime by using an 11-0 run to end the half and cruise into the break ahead by 22.
"The first half I thought we looked really good," said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. "To hold them to 11 in the first half -- I was really pleased with that."
Despite the big deficit, York didn't give up. The No. 9 seed Dukes (15-13) came out and scored the first 8 points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 14 but that's as close as they would get. Whitley hit one of her four 3-pointers with 4:10 to go in the third to snap the York run and Geneva cruised the rest of the way.
"They don't give up," said York coach Maggie Ely of her team. "It's been a fantastic team. We're very young and have a lot of returners. These girls never give up and they love to compete."
Junior Danielle Dennis led York with 14 points and 7 rebounds but the Dukes struggled shooting all night, making just 10 of their 39 field goal attempts. Sophomore Kathleen Levins added 7 points for York.
Junior Brie Borkowicz contributed 9 points for Geneva, which shot 15 of 43 from the field and outrebounded York 39-26.
Now it's on to the next step for Loberg and her teammates and the Vikings know it gets tougher from here on.
"We have to use every game to focus on getting better," Loberg said. "We'll have a tough couple of practices and we know Monday will be a tough game, but we want this more than anything."