Geneva pulls even in DKC with win at Lake Park
On the night Darrione Rogers scored her 2,000th point in a Lake Park uniform, Geneva left her wishing she had scored 6 more.
The Vikings pulled into a tie for the DuKane Conference girls basketball lead with host Lake Park with a 66-61 victory in Roselle on Tuesday.
"It's big," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said of the win. "We wanted a piece of the conference and we knew we had to come in here and get this done. They're a great team. I was excited about tonight. It's two really good basketball teams going at each other and it's exciting. Right before postseason. They have great fans, the band's here, I mean it's just perfect. It was great. It was a great girls night."
Geneva (21-7, 11-2) finishes the regular season Thursday against Glenbard North, while Lake Park (20-8, 11-2) finishes at St. Charles East.
It was a great night for Geneva junior guard Kate Palmer also. She scored a team-best 23 points, making 4 of her nine 3-point attempts. Meadows also had Palmer guarding Rogers man-to-man as closely as legally possible, with help on the occasional trap in the second half.
"She likes that challenge," Meadows said. "A couple of times we asked if she wanted a break and she's like, 'No!' She stepped up big-time for us. Shot the ball well, played on both ends, and that's all you can ask, right? I mean, that's a complete game right there for her."
Rogers -- with her college coach, DePaul's Doug Bruno, looking on from the first row -- scored 25 points in the first half, her 25th giving her the magic number and coming late in the second quarter at the free-throw line.
"We took her away really good in the third quarter, but even in the first quarter, KP's hands are right there, but she's just makes those shots," Meadows said. "It's crazy. So kudos to her. She's a great player and for sure somebody you always remember playing against."
"We know everything about her," added Palmer, who like Rogers played all 32 minutes. "We know she's most of their team and everything runs through her. I just did the best I can. I mean, I had great help from my teammates. Everyone was up doubling, doing whatever we can, and in the end we knew we had to stop her to get this win and I think we did a good job of that."
Rogers, averaging a DuPage County-leading 26.6 points a game, was 6 of 12 from 3-point range and 9 of 9 at the free-throw line. She finished with 37 points, giving her 2,012, second on the school's all-time scoring list behind Sam Arnold.
"It's a blessing," said Rogers, who tore a knee ligament just 4:30 into the first game of her freshman year and missed the rest of the season. "I'm thankful for everyone who helped me. My parents, all the sacrifices they made. So it's just a blessing to be in this situation, especially in three years."
Lake Park led by as much as 11 points in the second quarter before Geneva cut the lead to 35-32 by halftime.
A Rogers layup off an Emma Thorne assist with 6:11 to play in the fourth quarter tied the game at 50. Geneva grabbed the lead right back and gradually pulled away by hitting its free throws. The Vikings made 10 of 13 in the fourth.
"We didn't execute the way we needed to execute, especially in that third quarter, and it's really hard to come from behind against a team like that," Lancers coach Brian Rupp said.
"We knew (Palmer) was a shooter and we kind of let her go off today. We had a situation where Blackmore was on the bench (in the second quarter) with foul trouble and we didn't take advantage of that. We just didn't make enough plays, I think, and toward that stretch run they hit free throws."