Feuerbach sisters, Sycamore sink Geneva
Geneva could probably have overcome one Feuerbach Tuesday night in Sycamore.
Two Feuerbachs, however, proved a little too much.
Iowa-State bound Kylie Feuerbach, a junior, was up to her usual all-around tricks, finishing with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots, 3 steals and 3 assists while leading her team back from an early 15-point deficit.
It was her sister Faith Feuerbach that came through in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of her 13 points including 8 straight to give the Spartans the lead for good in a 61-53 victory.
"This was her best game," Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said of the freshman, who is joined by two other freshmen including Ella Shipley (7 points and 5 rebounds). "With freshmen there's going to be some ups and downs. This was a total team effort. We played really good team defense in the second half."
The game was closer than the final score indicated. There were 18 ties or lead changes and came after the two sophomore teams went to overtime with the Spartans also winning that 47-45 when Anna Reillo drained a 25-footer at the buzzer.
Before the varsity game Sycamore (4-2) had a brief ceremony congratulating Kylie Feuerbach on recently reaching 1,000 career points. But it was Geneva (4-2) who got off to the quick start, going on a 19-3 run spanning the first and second quarters to open a 27-12 lead.
Some of the highlights in the run included the Vikings' own freshman Zosia Wrobel hitting a jumper to beat the first quarter buzzer, Sophie Sharpe opening the second quarter with a field goal, Katie Palmer driving for a basket, and Lindsay Blackmore and Emma Kornak connecting on back-to-back 3s.
Kylie Feuerbach assisted Faith Reynolds to end Sycamore's drought. That started a 17-4 surge to end the first half bringing the Spartans within 31-27 at halftime.
Feuerbach beat Geneva down the court for a couple transition scores.
"I thought we got a little soft," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "We didn't rebound the ball and didn't stop transition and those were two things we talked about going into this game we had to do both. We did it in spurts and you have to do it the whole game."
Sycamore scored the first six points of the second half -- all by Kylie Feuerbach -- to take a 33-31 lead, the first of 5 lead changes in the third quarter. After Blackmore's 2 free throws gave the Vikings a 40-39 lead, a free throw by Shipley followed by a drive from Kylie Feuerbach left the Spartans up 42-40 going to the fourth quarter.
Blackmore's conventional 3-point play put Geneva back up 43-42, and Grace Hinchman's second-chance basket gave the Vikings a 45-44 lead moments later, but that turned out to be their last one.
Faith Feuerbach got hot, giving Sycamore the lead at 46-45 on a spin move in the lane. Her 3-pointer made it 51-47, and after the Vikings closed within 55-53 on Wrobel's 3 and a Hinchman free throw, Faith Feuerbach buried another 3 from the wing for a 58-53 lead with two minutes to go. Geneva didn't score again.
Blackmore led Geneva with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomores Palmer and Kelly McCloughan both added 6 points.
"I think we are better than this," Meadows said. "Inexperience, whatever, at some point that has to go away. You have to start learning. You can't give up transition points. You can't give up a 15-point lead is the bottom line."
Sycamore returns to action at Kaneland on Friday in a rematch of last year's Class 3A regional championship game.
"You look up and down their (Geneva's) roster and they had some girls who were on that (state championship) team and I said that mentality stays with you," Wickness said. "When we are going against this team, yes they lost a lot of people that were on the state championship team, but all the girls that are on their roster that were there last year played against state level basketball the entire season. They are going to be good.
"We wanted to make sure when we broke their press we attacked it. Once we did that and got to the basket a little it built confidence for everybody. It was a lot of fun in the second half."