Geneva runs past Batavia, still perfect in DuKane
The frenetic pace and rapid scoring seemed more applicable to a track meet than a girls basketball game Friday night in Geneva.
The second half of the DuKane Conference girls preliminary between Batavia and Geneva would slow considerably -- at least for the scorekeeper manning the clock.
In the end, however, there was one constant in the 61-52 Geneva victory.
"That was the No. 1 stat that was the difference in the game -- the rebounding," Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. "We knew that was going to be an uphill climb as it was."
There was a different verdict in the nightcap, though, as the Batavia boys scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back in a 55-42 triumph.
Each girls team had two outstanding performers apiece, in each half in particular, a high-octane affair that exhilarated the partisan crowd in the first 16 minutes.
Geneva landed a few more jabs to lead 38-34 at the half.
Batavia sophomore guard Brooke Carlson pumped home 19 of her team-leading 22 points before the break; Wisconsin-bound Tess Towers was the dominant force for the Bulldogs in the second half with 11 of her 20 points and 11 of her game-high 15 rebounds.
But the Vikings' Leah Palmer and Cassidy Arni proved to be their equals, with able supporting cast members as well.
Palmer scored 22 of her game-high 23 points in the first three quarters.
But it was Ami who personified the central storyline of the game.
Arni scored half of her 6 first-half field goals on second-chance rebounds in scoring 13 of her 15 points before the break.
"I think a lot of the putbacks were me missing the layup and getting my shots back," Arni said. "(The first half) was fast-paced. That's the way I prefer to play. I think our whole
team likes to play fast."
"That was a huge, important part when we started to pull ahead, with our offensive rebounds and putbacks," Palmer said. "We were shooting, making our shots and scoring."
Carlson canned a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to forge the last tie of the game at 21-all.
But Palmer was in the midst of scoring 11 points bridging the first two quarters, largely on the basis of three 3-pointers.
The sophomore had bookend field goals around a Zosia Wrobel deuce to give the Vikings the first of what proved to be a lucky 7-point lead at 28-21.
Both teams cooled considerably after the break, partly due to halftime adjustments.
"We did something different," Jensen said in response to Geneva subduing Carslon after the break. "We had a change of emphasis on getting Tess the ball (on the block) in
the second half."
Batavia (8-4, 1-2) made it a one-possession game early in the fourth quarter, but Wrobel had both a 3-point play and a field goal from beyond the arc serve as daggers for the
Vikings (7-3, 4-0).
"We just felt like nothing was going our way," Towers said. "The biggest problem was our energy."
Wrobel finished with 9 points; Geneva reserves Riley Hasegawa and Kinsey Gracey had only one field goal each.
But both were beyond the arc; the Bulldogs, meanwhile, had no one other than Carlson or Towers score more than 2 points.