Geneva shoots past Crystal Lake Central

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/30/2019 10:46 PM

Unselfish aptly describes Geneva's 60-34 dismantling of Crystal Lake Central in fourth and final round action of the Crystal Lake Central Thanksgiving Tournament Saturday night.

Geneva (3-1) assisted on 19 of its 24 baskets in the 26-point win.


"I thought we did a great job of kicking the ball into the high post then kicking it back out to the 3-point shooters," said Geneva coach Scott Hennig. "We always stress getting the ball to the open man and we did a great job of that tonight."

The Vikings, who had open looks from beyond the 3-point arc all night, connected on 8-of-12 from 3-point territory for a sizzling 66 percent. Geneva's defense was impressive, holding the Tigers (1-3) to 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Geneva set the tone in the first quarter, connecting on 9-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in jumping out to a 25-7 advantage after 8 minutes of play.

Senior Josh Preston, the lone starter returning from last season's team which advanced to a Class 4A supersectional, led the Vikings' first quarter surge with 8 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

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"Being the only starter back, I know I have more of a leadership role," said Preston, who will play at Division III University of Chicago next season. "I want to show our team the right way to play and the right way to win. Coach Hennig preaches unselfishness and we try to find the open player at all time. The Schaumburg loss was tough but we can learn from it. Overall we had a very good tournament."

The Vikings' biggest lead was 58-26 after a 15-footer from Mason Mascari with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.

Preston stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks in less than three quarters of play.

Chris Suger scored 12 with 2 treys and 3 assists while Nathan Valentine scored 9 points on three 3-pointers.

"We went 11 deep tonight and got contributions from everybody," said Hennig. "We are a young team with only five seniors and nine juniors. Our strengths tonight were our passing, defense and the ability to make 3-pointers. We had a tough loss to Schaumburg but overall we had a good tournament. We are only going to get better."

Ryan Mendoza was the lone Tiger in double digits with 17 including a pair of treys,

"We came out flat and you can't do that against a quality team like Geneva," said first-year coach Joe Capalbo, a 2006 graduate of Central. "Geneva was executing in the first half and we weren't. We played better in the second half and played with more toughness in the second half."

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