Geneva shoots past SCN, still perfect in DuKane
Mike Tomczak was hoping to see Geneva miss a shot.
The Vikings shot a blistering 50% from the field in the first half Thursday night against his St. Charles North girls basketball team and held a 16-point halftime advantage.
Tomczak got his wish after halftime as his North Stars clawed back, but it was too much Cassidy Arni and Geneva timely shooting as the Vikings pulled away for a 66-50 victory to remain unbeaten in DuKane Conference play.
Arni finished with a game-high 23 points and five steals. Her final basket of the night was a 3-pointer that aided a 13-1 run to finish the game after St. Charles North cut its deficit just four.
"We were hoping they weren't going to make every shot in the second half," Tomczak said. "It certainly seemed like they did in the first half… We knew if we didn't make a push early on [in the third quarter], that game could have gotten ugly. We didn't finish it all the way, but I'm proud of how we responded."
"We knew they were going to come at us strong," Arni said." [St. Charles North] is a great team. I think that's something we need to improve on, but I think we did a good job of bringing back that energy… I think we just had to keep each other up and just play together. We play our best when we play team ball."
Speaking of team ball, the Vikings (18-4, 10-0 DuKane Conference) had six of its seven players score points in Thursday night's win, including Zosia Wrobel (17 points) and Leah Palmer (16) joining Arni in double figures.
Geneva used its team defense to hold the North Stars (14-11, 4-6) scoreless over the final 4:22 of action. The North Stars didn't make a shot from the field in the final 7:33 of Thursday's loss.
Alyssa Hughes matched Arni with 23 points of her own in defeat for St. Charles North in trying to bring the North Stars back from a deficit that grew to as big as 18 in the first half.
"I think that's been the story of our season," Tomczak said. "We start a little slower, dig ourselves a hole and fight like crazy to come back. We're using everything we have to come back, but we run out of gas. You can't do that against teams of this caliber."
While the Vikings cooled down to shoot 37% in the second half, it relied on the solid defensive effort to hold off a strong third-quarter effort from the North Stars.
When Geneva needed it most, it got back to playing theunselfish basketball that has kept it unbeaten through conference play.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "[St. Charles North] plays us tough each and every time we face them. We battle with them every game and we knew it was coming. We need to do abetter job of executing, but we're starting to get there."
"I think we just got back to not taking the first shot," Wrobel said of her team's response. "When we pass the ball four or five times,the defense loses focus or can get lazy and we can get a wide open layup orshot… We can all shoot so it can be really hard to guard."
Reagan Sipla added 12 points in the loss for the North Stars.