AURORA – Nate Navigato and Connor Chapman have scored at a healthy clip more often than not this season for the Geneva boys basketball team.
When a third Viking joins the party, Geneva can be a handful to deal with, as the Vikings demonstrated Friday in a 73-48 rout against Aurora Central Catholic in the final pool play game at the East Aurora Holiday Tournament.
With senior guard Mike Trimble hitting his first four shots and making four of five 3-pointers on the evening, the Vikings wielded a three-headed monster that proved back-breaking for the Chargers’ defense.
“They’re always hot,” Trimble said of Chapman and Navigato. “It’s nice to finally be with them for once.”
Chapman, Navigato and Trimble supplied all of the Vikings’ first half points as Geneva led, 35-27, at the break. Chapman finished the game with 27 points, while Navigato added 17 and Trimble had 16.
“The bonus that we had today was that Mike Trimble had the hot hand,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “So you had things that helped stretch that zone in areas that they didn’t want to go.”
The Vikings’ win places them in the tournament’s fifth-place game at 4:30 p.m. today against the host Tomcats. ACC – which, like Geneva, came into the game after dropping its first two pool play games – will face Belvidere North for seventh place.
Chapman was remarkably efficient for the Vikings (12-3), converting on 10 of his 13 field-goal attempts against an ACC team light on interior defense.
The Chargers’ only real big man, Sean Anger, battled foul trouble.
“We knew we could get what we wanted inside, so we tried to go in there early, and it worked out,” said Chapman, whose dominant performance rekindled memories of his 31-point outburst earlier this season in an overtime win against Elgin.
The Chargers (6-6) pulled within 27-25 in the second quarter on a Zach Flint jumper, but Chapman then went on an 8-0, personal run to close the half, including six straight points from the foul line.
“We’re making too many mistakes, and Geneva’s really good, and they shot it exceptionally well today,” ACC coach Nate Drye said. “ ... That second quarter run I thought ended the game.
“Our guys are trying hard. We’ve played three really good teams the last three days. I can’t fault our effort at all.”
Chapman’s 27 points came despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Guard Shawn Soris was the lone Charger in double figures with 11 points. ACC hoisted a whopping 31 3-point shots, making seven.
The strong performance helped Geneva move beyond a fourth quarter meltdown that cost the Vikings the game Thursday against Peoria Central.
“Unfortunately for ACC, they were just the next people on the schedule, and they’re the ones who had to pay for it,” Ralston said. “I said if you’re frustrated, let’s take it out on our next opponent, and that was them.”