GENESEO -- The Grey Ghosts spooked the Leafs Tuesday night, lulling them to sleep before turning up the heat.|
Chillicothe IVC (9-8) went on a 17-2 run in the opening four minutes of the third quarter and used that to run past the Geneseo boys basketball team, 58-45.
The Ghosts held Geneseo (7-9) to just four baskets in the final 16 minutes after the Leafs looked to be in total control, leading 29-21 at halftime.
From 61-percent shooting in the first half to 25-percent in the second, Geneseo watched IVC's defensive pressure turn the tide in what ended up being a lopsided game.
"At halftime, we told them the third quarter has been good to them," Leafs coach Brad Storm said. "They picked up the intensity and they took it to us in every way."
The Leafs had more turnovers (six) than points (five) in the third quarter.
On the other end, Austin Johnson scored six of his team-high 15 points in the frame. Johnson also pulled down three rebounds and added a pair of assists during that stretch. The Ghosts were also helped out by a number of hustle plays by Ben Rashid that turned into easy IVC buckets.
Jordan Starkey led the Leafs with a game-high 16 points, but scored 11 of them in the first half, and was just 1-for-3 in the second half. Grant Burress chipped in with a double-double effort, his first of the season, pulling down 11 rebounds to go with 11 points.
"I could just see it unfolding in front of us to start the third quarter," said Storm of the IVC onslaught that erased an eight-point deficit in 70 seconds. "I almost couldn't call a timeout fast enough."
The Leafs got knocked on their heels and never responded, only getting as close as seven with two minutes to play when Ethan Radue knocked down his only basket of the night, a 3-pointer.
"We have to be more mentally tough than that," Storm said. "It's a mentality. We have to be willing to step up when they knock us back like that."
The Leafs are off from Northern Illinois Big 12 action this week, but do host Morris on Saturday in a rare 6 p.m. varsity tip. A week from Friday, Geneseo welcomes Ottawa for what is sure to be an important game in the NIB-12 West championship race.