Geneva delivers knockout punch to Sycamore
Geneva's revenge tour continued Thursday night.
Already with a win over a Belvidere North team that defeated them last year, the Vikings got their chance to pay back Sycamore for a 61-53 defeat.
They did that in a big way, scoring the first 9 points, then breaking open a 10-point halftime lead with a 29-point third quarter on the way to a 72-44 victory.
"They were amped up," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "They got us last year, don't think we didn't talk about that all week. I think our kids responded well.
"Our kids know who got us and know when it's a big game and we're responding pretty well right now."
Sycamore (4-3) couldn't have started the game much worse against Geneva's full-court press. After missing a point-blank shot on its first possession, the Spartans went steal, travel, travel, step out of bounds, and two more steals before they finally got a shot off.
Spartans coach Adam Wickness called two timeouts in the first four minutes -- and four timeouts in the first 17 -- but they didn't do much to slow the Vikings.
"I think our press really created some big problems for them," Geneva junior guard Kate Palmer said.
Palmer said the Vikings (6-0) also were excited to play against Sycamore star Kylie Feuerbach, a senior headed to Iowa State. Feuerbach finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds, and Faith Feuerbach added 11 points with three 3-pointers, but the Vikings didn't make it easy.
"It was a fun experience," Palmer said. "We knew she was going to come in ready to play. We kind of wanted to limit her, she still got 25 points, but I think we did a good job. Overall our team defense was great."
Geneva forced 10 turnovers in both the first and second quarters, building leads of 24-12 after one quarter and 34-24 at halftime.
The Vikings weren't happy about allowing the final six points of the first half and responded with a quick 3-pointer by Zosia Wrobel and Palmer's layup to start the third quarter.
Leading 45-29, Geneva iced the game with a 17-0 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Lindsay Blackmore and a variety of baskets from Palmer, who scored 18 of her team-high 24 points in the third quarter.
"I loved the start but I am more satisfied with the third quarter," Meadows said. "We let them back in in the first half and we talked about that at halftime. You can't do that against a good team, and they are a good team. We did not want to leave that door cracked at all, we wanted to close it, and I thought in the third quarter our kids answered that challenge."
Wrobel and Blackmore joined Palmer in double figures with 17 and 13 points, respectively. Point guard Grace Hinchman hustled for 7 rebounds and 5 steals, and Blackmore also grabbed 7 rebounds.
Kylie and Faith Feuerbach combined for 36 of the Spartans' 44 points.
"We turned the ball over way too many times," Spartans coach Adam Wickness said. "You give a team like Geneva 20 extra possessions in a half, they are going to take it to you."