GENESEO—Down by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Geneseo boys' basketball team made a rally down the stretch against the Morris Redskins on Saturday night at Geneseo High School, but couldn't get over that hump.|
Geneseo junior guard Ethan Radue scored eight of his team-high 15 points and senior point man Jordan Starkey scored four straight points to cut the lead to five with two minutes to play.
With :29 to go, Jordan Mielke hit a pair of free throws to make it a four-point game, but a five-second violation on Morris was reversed with a last-second timeout granted to Redskins coach Joe Blumberg. That left the Leafs with a 48-43, Northern Illinois Big 12 loss.
"We started making something happen, but it was too little, too late," said Geneseo coach Brad Storm, whose Leafs are now 7-10, 3-2 in the NIB 12. "We keep games close, but we are always on the catch-up end (of the score)."
Geneseo, still without 6-foot-7 center Austin Frank (knee), came out firing on all cylinders.
The Leafs went 5-of-8 from the field and canned a pair of 3-balls in the first quarter to keep pace with the Redskins, tied at 14 after the first frame.
Morris caught fire in the next minutes though behind sophomore Austin Patterson, who came off the bench and scored 10 of his game-high 16 points to give the Redskins a 29-18 edge at halftime.
On the flipside, Geneseo went ice cold in the second quarter, shooting just 2-for-10 from the field and managing just four points.
Said Storm, "We do some really good things, but we can't put it together for a whole game. It's wearing on everybody a little bit. We're battling a history of this group not winning a lot of games, but we are very close. We just haven't been able to get over that hump."
The hump grew in the third quarter as Morris scored five straight points to take a 34-20 lead. Geneseo showed its fighting spirit with Starkey nailing a jumper and following it with a drive and one that got the Leafs back to within nine.
"They play hard and we just need to play hard and play well on a consistent basis," said Storm. "We want to win and we want it to happen now; this is their opportunity."