Geneva's Hennig enjoys Hoffman homecoming

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/13/2022 9:35 PM

Scott Hennig came home for the holidays Tuesday night.

Hennig, who is his sixth year as head coach at Geneva, was taking his Vikings to Hoffman Estates for the first time in his coaching career.


Hennig, who played at Hoffman under Bill Wandro and graduated in 2003, made sure it was a happy homecoming. His Vikings jumped out to big lead and then held off a furious Hawks rush to win 43-38.

"It is nice to come back," Hennig said. "My family flew in from Tennessee. So it was bittersweet for me. You spend so much time here as a little kid, playing feeder basketball. It was just great."

Geneva (6-3) had things going well early.

The Vikings ran off 11 unanswered points in the first quarter to vault to a 13-2 lead. They continued their onslaught, thanks to 6-of-9 shooting and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line to maintain their lead at 21-10 with 5:32 left in the first half.

Hoffman, which struggled against the Vikings' 1-2-2 defense, finally was able to figure out the best way to attack it. The Hawks were patient and used the slashing of Nate Cleveland, Kentrell Branch and Adell Bosnjak to climb back into the game.

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Branch's free throws cut the margin to 21-19. Geneva ended nearly a 5-1/2 minute scoring drought on a driving layup by Mick Lawrence to lead 23-19 at the break.

"We wanted to come out real aggressive," Lawrence said. "From the first quarter we knew we could drive on them."

Geneva opened up a 33-23 lead midway through the third quarter on a basket by Tanner Dixon as the Vikings looked to pull away.

"We have been keeping games pretty low," Dixon said. "Our rotations on the zone have been working well for us."

Hoffman, which had trouble again with those rotations, decided to pick up the pace. That forced Geneva to turn the ball over and not only energized the Hawks, but their home crowd as well.

Hoffman (6-3) pulled to 38-36 on a steal by DJ Wallace, who then followed with a driving layup with 3:46 to play. The Hawks got within 40-38 on free throws by Trendell Whiting with 2:20 left.


Jimmy Rasmussen ended the comeback with a layup of his own. He then added a free throw for insurance.

"They did come back, but we kept to the game plan," Rasmussen said. "It was the perfect plan by coach."

Lawrence led Geneva with 13 points. Rasmussen had 11 points and six rebounds while Dixon added six points.

"I thought our guys did a great job of getting us out to a nice lead," Hennig said. "We had some timely shots and I thought our defense was really good."

Hoffman was led by Bosnjak, who came off the bench to score 10 points Whiting and Jacob Mirich each added seven points.

"Our slow start really hurt us," Hoffman Estates coach Peter McBride said. "I thought we came out flat and it was tough to recover from that. I was proud of our fight. For three quarters, we showed what kind of team we are capable of being."

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