Blackmore has career night to pace Geneva
Lindsay Blackmore had a career night in only her second game of the Geneva girls basketball season Tuesday evening at Burlington Central.
But basketball is a game with undeniable tenets.
The importance of the end of the first half is equally incontrovertible.
The Geneva girls hit Marengo with a 13-2 closing run in the second quarter to take a 14-point lead into the break.
Sixteen minutes of action after the intermission, Geneva emerged with a 61-49 victory.
Geneva is 2-0 and returns to action Friday evening against Belvidere North at the Rockets' Thanksgiving Tournament.
"I think we let them get a lot of open looks," Marengo senior guard Marissa Knobloch said of the Vikings' critical spurt to end the second quarter. "We were letting them get second-chance opportunities."
"If (the Vikings) didn't get that run at the end of the first half, it would have been tight all the way through the finish," Marengo coach Nick Rode said.
"It gave us a lot of momentum going into the second half," said Blackmore, who pumped in 15 first-half points on her way to a career-high 31 points as well as a game-high 12 rebounds.
Knobloch, who had a brilliant night of her own with a team-best 24 points, drained one of her five 3-pointers to slice the Indians' deficit to 24-21 as the last moments of the second unraveled.
But Blackmore answered with an inside score.
Then Geneva reserve Kate Palmer made her presence felt.
The sophomore, the only other Geneva player in double figures with 10 points, hit consecutive shots from beyond the arc.
The second Palmer 3-pointer in the closing rush gave Geneva a 34-23 lead.
Blackmore beat the second-quarter buzzer with a conventional score to give Geneva a 37-23 cushion at halftime.
"I was just trying to get my shot on," Palmer said. "The key was to get the points up before half."
"I felt like Marengo tested us -- and we answered," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "We had a nice little gap going into halftime."
Knobloch scored every Marengo point in second quarter, and the senior guard lit up Geneva for another pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Vikings had their halftime lead sawed off by 6 points heading into the fourth quarter.
But Blackmore, who also connected on five 3-pointers, could not be stopped in the fourth quarter by almost equaling the Indians' output with 12 points.
Marengo (0-2) never came closer than 9 points after Blackmore opened the fourth-quarter scoring.
"It's something you can't trade for the world," Blackmore said of being a member of a two-time defending state champion. "We are very athletic. I think that benefits us in the long run. We were getting some defensive stops and pushing the ball."