Geneva stymies WW South to take DuKane lead
Teams facing Geneva expect elite guard play.
They expect all-area senior point guard Jack McDonald to score at least 10 points and sling 7 assists like in Friday's 54-35 win over Wheaton Warrenville South.
They expect all-area senior guard Mitch Mascari to nail a few 3-pointers like he did.
What Geneva's opponents do not necessarily expect is to be carved up by the high-low game, an aspect 6-foot-6 senior Kross Garth and 6-4 junior Josh Preston worked to near perfection in the DuKane Conference win.
Garth scored a season-high 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Preston, who fed 6 assists to his teammate in the low block, added 6 points.
"We practiced all week on getting the ball high, look at the big first and shoot," Preston said. "It was there all game. I just kept hitting him and he kept finishing."
Said Garth: "He connected with me with some pretty good passes. I thought it was pretty efficient. I was getting easy layups."
Wheaton Warrenville South (15-7, 4-4) was limited to 5 first-quarter points on 1-of-12 shooting and scored 8 points in the second. "We've done everything the last two weeks, focusing on offense, focusing on offense," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Mike Healy said. "Maybe this is who we are. I don't know. Maybe we need to go to the other end of the floor and try to sure that up, but we just weren't very good offensively."
Senior guard Jeff Kratz scored a game-best 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Otherwise, the Tigers struggled to score.
"We defended," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. "Kratz still had 20, but he's a top-five player in our league. I thought everything he made we made him work for outside of maybe two or three hiccups. Then we stopped everyone else."
The Tigers drew within 14-10 on a Kratz second-quarter drive, but Geneva finished the half on a 14-3 run. Senior guard Ben Johlie opened the spree with a fast-break layup and McDonald fueled it with a 3-pointer.
Preston capped the run with the highlight of the first half, a breakaway dunk that staked the Vikings to a 28-12 lead and forced the Tigers to take a timeout.
The dunk was Preston's fourth of the season, his first since missing two weeks in December due to an ankle sprain. "I haven't dunked in a while so that felt great," he said.
The Geneva victory, coupled with St. Charles North's 46-42 win over Wheaton North (13-8, 6-2), gives the Vikings sole possession of first place in the DuKane.
"We're playing pretty good," Garth said. "It's really fun. It's a good senior year."