McCloughan's 17 points help Geneva beat Batavia
Geneva needed to unclog the middle during their Saturday afternoon game against Batavia.
Six-foot-4 center Tessa Towers was defending the paint for the visiting Bulldogs. She was making it difficult for the Vikings to attack the basket and pull down rebounds.
Geneva finally improved the flow around their basket after halftime and turned a 29-26 deficit into 62-49 DuKane Conference victory.
Senior Kelly McCloughan stationed in the high post started finding open teammates along the baseline for uncontested baskets in the third quarter.
As a result, Geneva (4-1, 3-1 in the DuKane Conference) went on a 26-6 run in the frame to turn a 3-point deficit into an 18-point lead, 52-34 at the start of the four quarter.
Sophomore Cassidy Arni was chief benefactor of McCloughan's passing. She scored eight of her 11 points during the quarter.
"We wanted to hit the high post and we wanted to use the short corner. We wanted to use it the whole time but we struggled a little bit getting it there," said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. "I think the kids did a great job of understanding that in the third quarter. Kelly played awesome in the high post and that was the key."
"It was just a mindset thing," McCloughan said about Geneva's turnaround. "We didn't want it to be that close of game so we went to half court. We knew that when I catch it at the high post and the dish is wide open on the block so we focused on that. I think that was the difference in the game."
McCloughan led Geneva scoring with 17 points, and Kate Palmer and Zosia Wrobel both added 10 points.
Bulldog fouls also contributed to the turnaround according to Batavia coach Kevin Jensen. Batavia (2-4, 1-3) had several starters already in foul trouble during the third quarter.
"We just had the wheels fall of when we got into foul trouble and it was hard for us to get back. It quickly got to a 20-point game," said the Batavia coach. "I think we had times where we defended well and then we had too many times where we rotated to the wrong spots and that left somebody wide open. And when we leave them wide open, they don't miss their shots."
Towers, despite being doubled teamed most of the game, still scored a game-high 18 points for the Bulldogs while pulling down 18 rebounds. Freshman Brooke Carlson tallied 10 points for Batavia.