Geneva rallies past Naperville North for 3rd straight win
Brian Wrenn doesn't usually start for Geneva, but he's making his opportunities count.
Wrenn, a Geneva junior, made his third start of the season Monday. With the Vikings still jumbling minutes on the court with a rotation dealing with illness, Wrenn fills in where needed.
"I think I see my role as just kind of running the offense and playing defense," Wenn said. "If I have an open shot, I'll obviously take it, but ...(I) work. Play my position, help the team and do what I can."
Wrenn played a key role as the Vikings -- with standout senior forward Josh Preston out with illness -- in a 43-40 win over Naperville North at Geneva's MLK Day of Hoops for their third straight victory.
Wrenn, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter for Geneva (10-8).
Whether needed for just a few minutes on the court or helping run the offense deep into the fourth quarter, Wrenn stays tuned into the game.
"I just always believe in my teammates," Wrenn said. "My teammates and coaches will keep me in the right position and they'll help me succeed."
"(Wrenn's) just a sparkplug," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. "He's just a fantastic kid ... hard nosed. He gives us a little burst in terms of just going to the basket (because) he's got some quickness."
The Vikings trailed by six points entering the fourth quarter. Chris Suger and Wrenn layups got things started, and Quin McNeive hit a go-ahead 3-pointer for a 30-29 lead with 4:40 left. Drew Johnson and Wrenn followed with layups before Wrenn hit two free throws to extend Geneva's lead to 36-29.
With 29 seconds left, Naperville North's Grant Johnson hit a 3-pointer to pull his team within five. Geneva's Ethan Hipp split two free throws before Johnson was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 13 seconds remaining, and he hit all three free throws.
Geneva forward Dylan Fuzak made two free throws before Naperville North's Myles Barry hit a layup to effectively end the contest.
The Vikings were paced by McNeive's 10 points. Johnson had 7 points and 3 rebounds, while Fuzak had 8 points and 5 rebounds.
Naperville North (9-9) took a 19-13 lead at the half and led by as much as nine.
"I thought there were stretches in the game where we played well, and then just obviously there was a stretch there where we couldn't get stops and we weren't scoring (early in the fourth quarter)," Naperville North coach Gene Nolan said. "So then, it was like a multiplier for us."
Naperville North was led by Johnson's 14 points and 6 rebounds. Zeke Williams had 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Barry had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Huskies endured a 5-game losing streak in the first 7 games of the season, but rebounded to win 3 straight games. Naperville North now just has to keep finding ways to improve.
"That was a stretch early in the season that I think it ... our kids looked at it as a way to improve from," Nolan said. "We were playing obviously really good teams, but still, at that point, we got beat up but our kids responded to it."