ORION — The VanHyfte family now gets to triple its fun when it comes to Annawan girls' basketball.
Freshman guard Morgan VanHyfte has joined the Bravettes' roster with older sister Celina and mom and assistant coach Val VanHyfte. That combo enjoyed quite the season opener Monday as the two sisters combined for half of their team's points in Annawan's 58-14 rout of Rockridge at the Temple's Tip-Off Classic.
In Monday's nightcap at Orion High School, the host Chargers used their defense to fluster Geneseo for the majority of the game. Even a fourth-quarter Lady Leafs rally wasn't enough to make a difference as a pair of lengthy Geneseo shooting droughts helped Orion earn a 37-22 victory.
Annawan 58, Rockridge 14:The VanHyfte family reunion made for some good basketball for the Bravettes, if not a few moments to laugh about.
"It was a little bit crazy; I had a couple of freshman fouls," said the younger VanHyfte, who overcame two early fouls to finish with 12 points in her prep debut. "She (Celina) is always there to calm me down."
Said Celina VanHyfte, who went for 17 points and eight rebounds: "Ever since the end of last year, I've been looking forward to this season; I haven't stopped thinking about it. It's been constantly in my head, just focusing on how awesome our team is going to be this year."
With Megan Foes adding 12 points, six boards and five steals to go with six Paige Randall boards and five Uriah Rico thefts, the Bravettes jumped to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter. Cashing in on an 0-for-22 field goal drought by the Rockets, Annawan held Rockridge to one second-quarter point to build a 37-5 halftime lead.
"We did a great job of boxing out and getting rebounds," said Morgan VanHyfte, "and when Lexi (Sierens) hit that first 3-pointer (to start the game), that got us all fired up."
Orion 37, Geneseo 22: Orion senior center Cassidy Clark showed no signs of basketball rust after being part of Orion's run to the Class 2A volleyball sectional finals. Not only did she muscle her way to 15 points and six rebounds, but she also reasserted her shot-blocking dominance with 10 stuffs.
"We've had six practices with the volleyball kids, so we needed a game to see what we need to work on," said Orion coach John McBride. "We've worked on a few different defenses, but we stuck with man-to-man since it worked most of the game. Geneseo didn't shoot well, and some of it had to do with our defense.
"Holding them to six points through three quarters, I've got to say our defense did a nice job. We did get a little sloppy at the end — too sloppy. That's my fault, not having the right personnel out there."
Geneseo missed its first 14 shots to open the game, breaking the drought when Emily Ford (five points, six rebounds, four steals) hit a bucket with 3:48 left to go until halftime. But after that shot, the Leafs went on an 0-for-20 dry spell, including missing all 16 of their third-period shots as the Chargers outscored them 11-0 to take a 29-6 lead.
"We're a work in progress, and we know that," said Geneseo coach Scott Hardison, whose club did outscore Orion 16-8 in the final quarter behind a pair of Bailey Conard 3-pointers. "With no experience back, we're still learning, but we'll get better."
Girls prep basketball
Sherrard 49, Rock Falls 28: Sherrard's starting five scored all but four points in the season-opening victory over Rock Falls in a game that is part of the week-long Sauk Valley Shootout. Carly Adams led the Tigers with a game-high 15 points and Riley Strandgard added 10. Sherrard led just 13-11 after the first quarter, but led 26-15 at the half and 41-22 after three quarters. Games the first three days of the tournament are at different sites before Friday's and Saturday's games move to Rock Falls High School.
Erie 45, Henry 20: Erie won its season opener over Henry in the Princeton Holiday Tournament. The Cardinals got off to a good start, leading 9-2 after the first quarter and 23-13 at halftime before really pulling away. Paige Rus led the Cardinals with 8 points as Courtney Cobert led them in rebounds (seven) and assists (five).
ROWVA 52, Mercer County 37: ROWVA won its opening match of it 2012 ROWVA Cranberry Classic. The Tigers out-rebounded Mercer County, 34-7 led by Emma Johnson and Haylee Swanson, who each had seven. Shelby Simmons had a game-high 14 points to lead ROWVA. Kimi Nelson led Mercer County with 13 points.