WEST CHICAGO – The Geneva boys basketball team squandered a 14-point lead against King on Tuesday, dropping the West Chicago Tournament matchup, 68-66.
The Vikings (1-1) led by 10 points about midway through the fourth quarter before poor late-game execution allowed the game to slip away.
Junior Nate Navigato scored a career-high 27 points for the Vikings, but Geneva committed 29 turnovers on the night, 22 of which came in the second half.
“It wasn’t just guys with [bad] passes, it was guys not meeting passes – it was little things that we hope a veteran team would just say, ‘I know how to play the game of basketball,’ and we didn’t have that attitude,” Vikings coach Phil Ralston said.
“The sad part is there were a lot of positives for us. They went to a 1-3-1 and we just destroyed their 1-3-1. It was just unbelievable; we killed them with our sets, we were running great sets tonight, but then you factor in crunch time, it was turnover, turnover, turnover, giving them layups at the other end, fouling them, sending them to the line. It’s really hard to win a basketball game when you’re letting a team shoot 27 free throws, and really hard to win a basketball game when you have 29 turnovers.”
Ralston also said the Vikings “need to rethink what we’re doing defensively” after allowing 60 or more points in each of their first two games. Geneva continues tournament play today against Lake Zurich.
Sycamore Tournament: Burlington Central defeated Dundee-Crown, 64-55, in its season opener behind 18 points from Duncan Ozburn and 10 points from Sean Fitzgerald. Rockets coach Brett Porto said the 6-foot-9 Ozburn also had “at least” five blocked shots in the win.
Wheaton Academy Thanksgiving Tournament: Host Wheaton Academy knocked off Downers Grove North, 45-37. Gordon Behr and Josh Ruggles scored nine points apiece for the Warriors (2-0).
Immaculate Conception Tournament: Kaneland defeated Elmwood Park, 73-27, behind 14 points from Ally VanBogaert and 10 points from Kelly Wallner. Caroline Heimerdinger added seven points and five assists for the Knights (2-1).
Rosary 44, Hinckley-Big Rock 35: At Aurora, Rosary won the non-conference game behind a big night for Rachel Choice, who scored 16 points.
“She led us in all aspects – scoring, assists, rebounds, steals as well,” said Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox, whose team improves to 4-1 on the season.
Geneva 63, Larkin 9: At Geneva, the Vikings rolled in the Upstate Eight Conference River meet, which included a win by fall in 44 seconds for Nick Anderson (126 pounds) and in 1:40 for heavyweight Sean Mackenzie.