Lawrence, Rasmussen lead Geneva past Lake Park
Geneva's Mick Lawrence was an unstoppable force in the first half against Lake Park on Wednesday.
The junior point guard hit shots from numerous distances, highlighted a basket in the final five seconds in each of the first two quarters. He closed out a memorable first-half shooting display by burying a 28-foot 3-pointer just two seconds before halftime.
With the Lancers clamping down on Lawrence in the second half, Geneva's Jimmy Rasmussen happily took the mantle of go-to scorer after a strong second quarter to spoil Lake Park's Senior Night.
The Lawrence-Rasmussen combination proved to be overwhelming for the Lancers, as the Vikings cruised to a 57-45 win in Roselle. Lawrence finished with 3 3-pointers for 17 points and Rasmussen added 2 3s for a game-leading 20 points.
"We knew it was their senior night, and we came out with nothing to lose and came out firing," Lawrence said. "After my first few went in, it felt good after that. I was just taking what they gave me, and the screen and roll was working and I was able to also get in the lane."
Rasmussen scored 12 points in the second half to form an unstoppable duo with Lawrence. Rasmussen easily topped his season average of 7.5 points, scoring 7 points in the third quarter, including a reverse lay-in and 3-pointer.
"I started off kind of slow and wasn't shooting it well," Rasmussen said. "But I drove and they kind of left me open to shoot the ball. I love when me and (Mick) play well together like this game."
Lake Park senior Matt Zakic was the main source of points for the Lancers, hitting 4 3-pointers for a team-best 17 points. Sebastian Blachut, who came into the game averaging 13 points, ended with 12 points and Vito LaGiola scored 7 points.
Lawrence, who's averaging a team-high 11 points, waited until the final seconds of the third quarter to get back in the scoring column following his big first half, performing some more last-second magic. Lawrence's strong drive to his left with 3.3 seconds left pushed the lead up to 46-27.
Lawrence, however, didn't get a chance for a 4-for-4 effort on last-second shots due to the lack of late-game drama in the blowout road win.
"I just came out firing, trying to do my best," Lawrence said.
Wheaton Warrenville South captured the conference title for the second straight season by beating Lake Park on Friday, but the Lancers (21-7, 10-4) can lay distinction to finishing second in the highly competitive league.
The Vikings (16-14, 5-9) have experienced a season full of close losses but head into the playoffs on an upswing by winning four of their last five games. Before Wednesday's games, Geneva's last three losses -- St. Charles North, Batavia and Hampshire -- were by a combined by 6 points.
In the first meeting, the Lancers pulled out a 41-30 victory over the Vikings, so this was a quality win over the Vikings heading into their Class 4A regional semifinal playoff opener against Bartlett on Wednesday.
"We've had a lot of games decided by two possessions, but it shows you the schedule we've played," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. "I thought we played one of our first complete games. We shot the ball well. Mick and Jimmy were really good, and we really hurt them on the backboard by not giving them second-chance points. It was a complete team effort."