Shooting is a huge part of every practice for the Geneva boys basketball team.
Makes sense, considering the Vikings have a roster full of shooters.
"We've got shooters on this team, all the way through our lineup," said one of those shooters, junior Jack McDonald. "At practice, that's most of what we do. We shoot the ball. We do a lot of drills for threes. It paid off today."
It certainly did. All that shooting practice paid off to the tune of nine 3-pointers in Geneva's decisive 64-46 victory over Carmel on Saturday afternoon in the Martin Luther King Classic at Lake Zurich High School.
"This was probably our most complete game," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. "We had a lot of guys step up. And we shot the ball well. We've got three guys shooting 40 percent from 3, so those guys have the green light. This year, our strength is our guards and we're going to let them shoot if they're open. They know what a good shot is."
Up just 4 points at halftime, Geneva, which beat Woodstock 73-26 in its first game of the day, hit 5 of its 3-pointers in the second half to pull away.
McDonald, who tied for team-high scoring honors with 19 points, had two 3-pointers while Jack Hood (19 points) and Mitch Mascari (11 points) each had three 3-pointers.
"We don't have a ton of size, but we do have all those shooters," McDonald said. "I think we just happen to have guys who are good shooters naturally, but the hard work in practice makes us shoot even better.
"I feel like this is one of our best wins so far. We're going to build off this. Hopefully, we can keep playing like this for the rest of the year."
McDonald is a jack-of-all-trades player for the Vikings (12-6). He's the team's second-leading scorer, and its primary ballhandler and playmaker. In fact, he just recently set Geneva's all-time assist record. As a junior.
But McDonald's biggest assignment against Carmel was on the defensive end, trying to keep up with fabulous freshman guard Kimahri Wilson. Wilson went off for 14 first-half points, and finished with a game-high 20 points.
"He's a freshman. It's crazy. He's so awesome. I can only imagine him in four years," McDonald said of Wilson. "It was fun to play him. He was tough. He played good defense. And on offense, he was just so quick and hard to stay in front of."
But in the second half, McDonald and the entire Geneva defense did a better job of controlling Wilson. Meanwhile, they kept everyone else from Carmel relatively in check as well. Geneva outscored Carmel 20-9 in the fourth quarter.
"We have a tendency to stop doing what we should be doing on offense when we start giving up baskets on defense," Carmel coach Zack Ryan said. "We get a little dribble happy. We stop moving the ball and we think that the way to get back in it is to go one-on-one and try to score."
Besides Wilson, only Johnny Roeser scored in double-figures for Carmel. He finished with 10 points. And the Corsairs hit just three 3-pointers to Geneva's nine 3-pointers.
"We were just trying to do everything by ourselves. We weren't playing good team ball," Wilson said. "I'm not sure what went on with us in the second half, but we need to fix that. We'll be back ok."