Geneva tops Wheaton North for 9th straight win
Tommy Diamond arguably isn't quite known for his 3-point shot on the basketball court.
That doesn't mean the Geneva junior cannot hit them, though.
Diamond hit his second career varsity 3-pointer and scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter in the Vikings' 58-45 victory over Wheaton North on Friday.
Along with Mick Lawrence's 21 points, it helped pace Geneva to its ninth consecutive win and continued their strong stretch that includes a Chuck Dayton holiday tournament championship.
"During summer camp, it was kind of where I got it all started. I was making a bunch of 3s in games," Diamond said on the development of his 3-point shooting. "Actually, I didn't hit my first 3 until [last Tuesday] against Hersey. My whole high school career, I never made a 3[until then]. It's just a confidence thing, honestly."
Diamond can now proudly say he's hit two in his career after hitting a 3 with 5:33 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings (13-3, 4-1) an eight-point lead.
"You can be a really good shooter and not make shots because you're scared it's not going to go in and stuff like that," Diamond said. "I think it has a lot to do with my confidence and I know when I do shoot it, I'm going to make it."
Diamond, who battled early foul trouble, weathered it in the second half and added seven rebounds to compliment his overall stout defense and energetic presence.
"It's dangerous," Lawrence said of Diamond adding perimeter shooting to his game. "He shoots them in practice definitely. He has the confidence to shoot them. He hadn't made one until the Hersey game. I feel like now that he's seen one go through the net, it's going to start becoming dangerous."
"I give [Diamond] a lot of credit," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. " ... He's working on his shot. You can tell. People joke with Tommy [about] shooting the 3, but he's dedicated. He puts time in and he's just the best kid to coach."
Geneva was also led in scoring by Tanner Dixon's 12 points and five rebounds. Jimmy Rasmussen had five points and six rebounds, while Jack Hatton had three points.
Wheaton North (8-7, 2-4) pulled to within 47-42 after a 3 by Caleb Schauer with 5:20 left, but Geneva ripped off an 11-0 run that was ended by a Jack Speers three with 45 seconds left.
"Part of [the finish and execution down the stretch] was we ran out of gas a little bit," Falcons coach Dave Brackmann said. "We gave up a few open 3s and [Geneva] capitalized. All of a sudden, I think they hit four 3s in a couple minute stretch and what was a close game kind of got out of hand. They were bigger and stronger than us. We're playing a little bit small and the guys fought their butts off. But, in the end, just didn't have enough to beat a really good team on the road."
The Falcons were paced by Hudson Parker's 14 points, while Schauer had seven points. Junior forward Jalen Crues had 10 points and eight rebounds.
"[Parker] was all-tournament [at the Jack Tosh holiday tournament]," Brackmann said. "Huge accomplishment in a big tournament. He's been playing great. We ask him to do a lot on both ends of the floor and he's been coming through. He had a tall task tonight with [Lawrence] and him being able to handle the ball against their trapping, etc., he did a great job. We just didn't have enough consistency at either end of the floor, to be honest. You got to shoot the ball well against a team that's going to play that way.