Geneva wins Crystal Lake Central tournament

 
By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

Unselfishness.

Out of 25 baskets, Geneva dealt out 18 assists in a convincing 60-37 victory over host Crystal Lake Central in the final game of the Crystal Lake Central Thanksgiving Tournament Saturday night.

The Vikings won the tournament with a perfect 4-0 slate while the Tigers finished 1-3.

"We do a great job of finding the open man," said Geneva coach Scott Hennig. "This group is truly unselfish and has great teamwork. They know if they are double teamed somebody has to be open.

"I like the way we played in the tournament. There are some great teams and it is nice to play teams we won't see during the season. Everybody contributed tonight and during the whole tournament. We have great depth."

Josh Preston paced the tournament champs with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

"It is a great feeling to play on a team that is so unselfish and plays as a team," said Preston. "We came out with a lot of energy on offense and defense. We lost a game in this tournament last year. That was not acceptable this year. We wanted to go 4-0."

Three-year starter Jack McDonald, who didn't score in the first half, tallied all 11 of his points in the second half and added 8 assists.

"Jack is pass first and then score," said Hennig. "In the first half, he didn't get his shot and found the open man. In the second half, he was able to get to the basket and he hit some shots. He is a valuable member of this team and a great leader."

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Garret Sneed scored 8 off the bench for the winners.

Hennig was pleased with his team's defensive effort on Central standout center Alex Timmerman, who scored only 9 points, all in the first half.

"He (Timmerman) has developed into a very good player," said Hennig. "We did a good job of double teaming him and we made him earn everything."

With a 27-25 lead early in the third quarter, the Vikings seized control of the game with a pivotal 8-0 run.

Ben Johlie canned a 3-pointer, Preston scored on a conventional 3-point play and Mitch Mascari had a putback as the Vikes extended a 2-point lead to 10, 35-25 with 4:06 left in the third quarter. Geneva, who outscored Crystal Lake Central 33-14 in the second half, led 47-33 after 3 quarters.

The Tigers managed only 4 field goals in the second half.

For the game, Central connected on 13-of-42 shots for 30 percent with 17 turnovers. Geneva, which connected on 6-of-15 from 3-point range for 40 percent, made 25-of-45 from the floor for 55 percent with only 7 turnovers.

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