Lake Park's depth makes all the difference against Geneva

  • Lake Park's Montrell Perry drives the ball up court against Geneva's Nathan Valentine in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Lake Park's Montrell Perry drives the ball up court against Geneva's Nathan Valentine in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Joshua Preston and Lake Park's Trevor Montiel battle for the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Geneva's Joshua Preston and Lake Park's Trevor Montiel battle for the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Nathan Valentine keeps the ball away from Lake Park's Montrell Perry in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Geneva's Nathan Valentine keeps the ball away from Lake Park's Montrell Perry in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Luke Sgarbossa looks for room against Geneva in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Lake Park's Luke Sgarbossa looks for room against Geneva in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Quin McNeive falls as Lake Park's Trevor Montiel handles the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Geneva's Quin McNeive falls as Lake Park's Trevor Montiel handles the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Christopher Suger tries to get the ball from Lake Park's Luke Sgarbossa in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Geneva's Christopher Suger tries to get the ball from Lake Park's Luke Sgarbossa in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Montrell Perry drives the ball up court against Geneva in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Lake Park's Montrell Perry drives the ball up court against Geneva in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Nathan Valentine tries to get around Lake Park's Montrell Perry in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.

      Geneva's Nathan Valentine tries to get around Lake Park's Montrell Perry in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/10/2020 9:39 PM

To beat Geneva for the first time in three tries this season, Lake Park's boys basketball team needed a difference-maker.

The Lancers found six of them.

 

Everyone who took the court played a pivotal role in Tuesday's 54-45 win over Geneva in the Class 4A Addison Trail sectional semifinals.

Lake Park's victory avenges a pair of DuKane Conference losses to the Vikings and advances the top-seeded Lancers (25-8) to a 7 p.m. Friday title game to face Wednesday's winner between No. 2 Naperville Central (22-10) and No. 3 Glenbard East (22-9).

After being eliminated in last year's sectional semifinals, the Lancers are what they hope is the first of many steps beyond.

"We weren't going to lose to the same team three times," said Lancers guard Montrell Perry. "We came up short last year and got beat twice by them this year. This feels great."

Lake Park hit its magic number of 50 points when Luke Sgarbossa drained a pair of free throws with 35.7 seconds left to lift the lead to 50-42. The Lancers are now 18-1 in games scoring 50-plus, something they failed to do in their first two meetings with the Vikings.

"The first couple games we caught them on their heels and they weren't expecting us to be good," said Geneva senior Josh Preston, the lone returning starter from last year's sectional championship team. "This game we went head-to-head and it was a 2-to-4-point game almost the entire game. They just made the plays at the end and took control."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Geneva's Joshua Preston shoots over Lake Park's Trevor Montiel in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.
  Geneva's Joshua Preston shoots over Lake Park's Trevor Montiel in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. - John Starks | Staff Photographer

Drew Johnson scored for No. 6 Geneva (19-13) with 3:41 left to pull his team within 44-42. Lake Park started draining the clock, forcing the Vikings to foul with just over a minute to play.

The strategy seemed to work as the Lancers missed on consecutive trips to the line, but Lake Park's Drew Myers grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds to extend the possessions. Joey Czaja then surrounded Sgarbossa's two free throws with four of his own to seal the win.

"We talked before the game about how we weren't going to lose to them again," Sgarbossa said. "Hopefully, we get it done Friday."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Despite numerous times where the margin was 1 or 2 points, Lake Park led wire-to-wire, including by as many as 9 points in the second, third and fourth quarters. Geneva kept rallying as four players knocked down 3-pointers.

Preston led Geneva with 14 points, while Johnson scored 12 points and Nate Valentine added 8 points in an eight-man rotation featuring only two seniors.

"It was a great year," said Geneva coach Scott Hennig. "It's a credit to these guys for the work they did and the time they put in. I'm proud of these guys."

Geneva's Dylan Fuzak and Lake Park's Joe Harrington reach for the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday.
  Geneva's Dylan Fuzak and Lake Park's Joe Harrington reach for the ball in a sectional semifinal boys basketball game at Addison Trail High School Tuesday. - John Starks | Staff Photographer

Sgarbossa scored 10 of his 17 points in the third quarter while Perry scored 8 of his 13 in the first half. Czaja had 12 points, Trevor Montiel 8 points and Joe Harrington rounded out the scoring with 4 points.

"I think that was our best win of the year," said Lancers coach Billy Pitcher. "We got so many contributions. I really liked our balance."

Twitter: @kevin_schmit

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.