Mallory's perfect night lifts Geneva
Perfect games are normally reserved for baseball teams.
Geneva's forward-center Madison Mallory enjoyed her own perfect game of sorts during the Vikings' 63-30 dismantling of Sycamore at Saturday night's Kaneland Shootout in Maple Park.
Mallory, a 6-foot-2 senior, connected on all 8 of her field-goal attempts as well as her lone free-throw try on the way to a game-high 18 points and 5 rebounds for the Vikings (22-3).
"We've just been playing together for a long time, said Mallory, whose team raced out to a 13-0 lead in the first 5 minutes and never was threatened. "We were passing the ball great tonight and we rebounded well tonight."
Mallory scored 6 of her 8 first-quarter points during the Vikings' 19-2 surge.
"The guards were throwing me dime passes down low," said Mallory, whose 3-point play early in the second quarter extended the Vikings' lead to 27-5. "I was just finishing them. It was a great game for me and for my teammates."
"I said it to Madison at halftime -- I love it when she plays with emotion," said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. "When she got that and-one, she was jacked up. She played really well."
Geneva's team strength was on full display in the opening quarter.
While senior leading scorer Margaret Whitley misfired on her first 4 shots from the field, the Vikings built a commanding 22-5 advantage.
"We always talk about that," said Meadows. "We thought they may try a box-and-one or triangle-and-two (defense) but it doesn't really matter because we have so many people who can play basketball."
Geneva, which led 39-13 and 54-15 before Meadows pulled the plug on her starting quintet midway through the third quarter, received contributions aplenty.
Whitley finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists, while senior guard Stephanie Hart added 8 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
Maddy Yelle scored 7 points and grabbed 5 rebounds while Brie Borkowicz had 5 points and 4 assists.
Geneva's diamond-and-one press frustrated the Spartans (21-5) into 21 turnovers throughout the first 3 quarters.
"We like to get up on our diamond-and-one," said Mallory. "We like to keep the pedal down and keep going."
Sophomore Kylie Feuerbach led the Spartans with 14 points.
"They're the defending state champions for a reason," Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said of the Vikings. "They're all fundamentally sound. They're a well-coached, great program.
"We brought in some boys from the intramural league to try to simulate their athleticism and size but when you give up 16 offensive rebounds for 26 points and start out down 13-0, it kind of takes you out of what you want to do."