Geneva's inside-outside game sinks Batavia

 
 
Updated 1/22/2015 9:32 PM

From the time Janie McCloughan went down with a concussion late in Geneva's fifth game of the season, it's been a familiar struggle for the Vikings to get their entire lineup on the court.

From McCloughan to Grace Loberg to Abby Novak it never seems Geneva can put all its pieces on the court at the same time -- something the program knows all too well.

 

The Vikings still aren't quite there, they are missing Kate Rogers with an ankle injury, but they were as healthy as they have been in awhile and put on a show Thursday night in a lopsided 66-36 win over Batavia.

"The sad thing is we are used to it," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "Our kids know they have to step up."

Loberg sprained her ankle last week against St. Charles North. She said she was about 90 percent against Batavia (11-12, 3-4 in the Upstate Eight Conference River), finishing with 15 points, 8 rebounds and strong post defense against the area's leading scorer, Hannah Frazier.

"I hate missing games," said Loberg, adding her ankle felt much better than last Saturday at the McDonald's Shootout. "I was a little nervous (against Prospect) but once I started playing it felt fine."

Geneva (15-5, 9-0) led by 16 points at halftime and then outscored Batavia 27-13 in the second half as the Vikings close in on another conference title.

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McCloughan led a balanced attack with 16 points. Margaret Whitley scored 11 and made three of her team's seven 3-point baskets.

"We shot really well tonight even beyond the arc," Meadows said. "That hasn't been happening so it was good to see."

Geneva shot 53 percent from the field to Batavia's 33 percent. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over 11 times in the first half while Geneva had just 8 the entire game.

"The moment might have been a little big for us tonight," Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. "I didn't see it coming like this. I thought we were more prepared and ready. I think I drastically misjudged where we were."

Geneva never trailed. Batavia rallied from an early 5-0 hole to tie the game at 5 and again at 7-7 on McKenzie Foster's layup.

The Vikings scored the next 10 points to open a double-digit lead that kept expanding the rest of the night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Whitley started the run with a 3-point basket. After Loberg scored inside, Stephanie Hart hit from deep.

Loberg added another putback, the kind of inside-outside game that makes Geneva a nightmare to defend.

"The part that is tough is they aren't even hitting them with their toes on the line," Jensen said. "Margaret had three of four from a whole step behind."

Courtney Reynolds came off the bench to drain two more 3s, one to end the first quarter with Geneva leading 22-9, and another early in the second.

Frazier didn't get an official field goal attempt in the first half, making all 6 of her free throws for 6 points. Geneva led 39-23 at halftime.

"We have been practicing defending her (Frazier) and fronting her and not letting her get the ball," Loberg said.

Frazier scored all three of Batavia's field goals in the third quarter while the Vikings continued to add to their lead, 51-29 after three.

Geneva opened the fourth quarter with a crisp possession, taking a minute off the clock with Hart scoring a layup on a backdoor cut and feed from Ashley Shogren.

Eileen Burke put the finishing touches on the 30-point win with the final basket.

Hart added 8 points and Novak finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals for Geneva, which travels to second-place St. Charles East Saturday.

"If we can dominate the inside pound it in, if not then let's hit from the outside," Meadows said. "They are doing better reading it and learning what they are giving us and what we can take."

Frazier led Batavia with 16 points and 3 blocked shots. Bethany Orman scored 6 points.

"I walked out at halftime and saw 39 and we have been on a stretch where we have been giving up 39, 40 in whole games," Jensen said. "We can't give up what we did."

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