Wednesday night's Upstate Eight River boys basketball contest between Geneva and Elgin at Chesbrough Field House was Senior Night.
And as is custom for many area basketball teams, Elgin's senior reserves started the game.
The graduating backups gave the Maroons a quick 5-0 lead before the regular starters entered the contest and until the third quarter, it looked like Elgin might hand the Vikings their third straight loss of the season.
But Geneva, taking advantage of Elgin (16-3, 4-7) fouls, hit 10 free throws in the third quarter to pull away for a 68-49 win.
"Tied at 36 in the middle of the third quarter. Just too many fouls," said Elgin coach Mike Sitter. "We stopped moving our feet and getting into the passing lanes and we were too worried about reaching and grabbing. That's when the free throw shooting contest began and that was the end of the game."
"Once our kids settled down that forced them to foul us and we are not the type of team that you want at the line," said Geneva coach Phil Ralston. "We like it when we are in the double bonus in the third quarter."
The victory, the 300th of Ralston's 17-year career, also snapped a two-game Viking skid.
"It's more a reflection of the types of kids that I have had come along such as this group right here more than anything I have done," Ralston said about the milestone.
Senior reserve Christian Lantin put Elgin on the board first with a jumper from the left wing. Classmate Titus Ahrens followed with a 3-pointer from the right corner. Courtese Cooper's first basket at the 6:31 mark, a trey, put the Maroons up 8-2. Cooper led Elgin's scoring with 15 points.
Geneva (27-2, 11-1) retook the lead, 10-8, on a Mitch Mascari 3-pointer and widened its margin to 18-12 by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Vikings increased their lead to 10 points, 30-20, with 3 minutes left in the half on a putback by Cole Navigato (16 points). Elgin ended the half with a 7-2 run to pull within 32-27.
The Vikings' scoring drought continued in the third quarter. The Maroons tied the game, 32 all, on Trevon Morris' trey 90 seconds in the period.
Cole Navigato retook the lead, 34-32, on Geneva's first two free throws of the game.
A Dom Navigato bucket underneath halfway through the quarter ended the Vikings' 6-minute field goal drought and broke another tie, 36-34. He led all scorers with 17 points.
Elgin tied the game one last time late in the third quarter, 36-36 on a Dan Toolsie layup.
Geneva ended the quarter with two baskets and 8 free throws to hold a 49-41 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The parade to free throw line continued in the fourth quarter as the Vikings sank 8 more charity tosses.
Matt Johnston scored 14 points for Geneva while teammate Jack McDonald notched 10. Latrell Hudson had 10 for Elgin.