Geneva's hot third quarter does in Rolling Meadows
Geneva played two polar opposite teams in the first two days of the inaugural Morton College Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament.
In Monday's win over Deerfield, the Vikings battled a guard-heavy team with very little size, experience and height.
On Tuesday, the Vikings battled a Rolling Meadows team with an elite post player.
The end result was the same in each case: a victory.
The Vikings scored 23 points in the third quarter to cruise to a 74-56 win over Rolling Meadows in Cicero.
Geneva (10-3) won its first two games in pool play to advance to Wednesday's showdown against Benet or Evanston.
Cassidy Arni powered a balanced attack with 21 points, while Zosia Wrobel (18 points), Leah Palmer (14 points) and Lauren Slagle (11 points) all scored in double figures.
The Mustangs (8-6) entered the game knowing it would be a tough matchup after losing to Deerfield on Monday. Emily Galvan scored a team-high 20 points and added 3 3-pointers and 6-foot-4 sophomore center Roisin Grandberry had 13 points.
The Vikings managed to overcome contrasting styles in their first two games, which Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said will benefit them later in the season.
The Mustangs played mostly zone defenses compared to Deerfield sticking to a man defense for most of Monday's game.
"On Monday, we had five kids scoring for us and sharing the ball," Meadows said. "We don't want to rely on one kid. Our kids are starting to play really well together. The defense was different as well. Our kids did a nice job adjusting to that and we adjusted our offense and came out ready for it. We're doing a nice job."
Wrobel, a senior guard, had another solid game, showcasing her versatility scoring the ball against two different teams.
"I think today was harder because we had to adjust to playing a zone, and they extended it farther, so that was a challenge for us," Wrobel said. "It took us some time to adjust, but we did pretty well. It was difficult to adjust. Our last game we shot the ball a lot more (from the perimeter), but we drove more this game."
The Mustangs fell into an early 5-0 hole, but scored 6 straight points to seize the lead for the first and only time of the game. Geneva maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
Slagle, a junior forward, scored two straight baskets early in the third to ignite a scoring surge. Arni sparked the Vikings with a strong putback and free throw early in the third quarter, ripping the ball away from a Rolling Meadows player to score a basket to up the lead to 52-37.
"We had to adjust our footwork," Slagle said. "Guarding these tall girls, the footwork was key and it was way better in this game. Last game, we had to guard smaller girls."