AURORA – As the Hubbard boys basketball team was reminded Friday against Geneva, it is important to pay attention to the details.
The Greyhounds were assessed a team technical in the first quarter when it was discovered that a player had an incorrect number listed in the official score book.
Geneva executed the basics well enough to soundly defeat Hubbard, 63-35, in the second round of pool play at the East Aurora Holiday Tournament.
But the Vikings will need to fine-tune their play today when they take on Neuqua Valley in the final round of pool play.
A victory over the Wildcats would put Geneva in the championship game Monday.
“There were a lot of bright spots today, but we just didn’t show some discipline at times. We had a chance to blow the doors open on the game,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “When you jump out to a big lead, sometime it’s kind of hard to sustain that level of effort.”
“We just got to be a little bit better and crisper at what we are doing, especially when we play Neuqua tomorrow,” Ralston continued. “Those little things are the ones that separate the teams with good records from teams that can be great.”
For the second day in a row, Geneva (10-3) charged out to an early lead, scoring the first 11 points of the game. Hubbard (2-8) didn’t score until a Luther Driver layup at the 4:27 mark. The Vikings led, 16-7, at the end of the first quarter.
Geneva used its height advantage to work the ball inside to Nate Navigato and Loudon Vollbrecht, both 6-foot-7. The tallest Hubbard defenders were 6-2. Navigato scored 14 points while Vollbrecht finished with 10.
“We just tried to use our athleticism [to counter Geneva’s height]. We used our speed and that helped us out a lot to try and keep the game close,” Hubbard coach Matt Flavin said. “This was one of our best games I think we played.”
The Vikings extended their lead to 34-17 at the half.
Geneva came out flat in the second half and was outscored by the Greyhounds, 9-7, in the third quarter.
“Yeah, we got sloppy at some points. We had about a five-minute run in the third quarter that was just like run and gun – no real offense or defense,” Geneva senior guard Justin Durante said. “We really got to control that tomorrow or otherwise it will be a nail-biter against Neuqua. We want to control the tempo and really play our game of basketball.”
Durante led the Vikings with 15 points. The senior also grabbed seven rebounds.
The Vikings came to life in the fourth quarter to put away Hubbard by scoring 22 points.
A Navigato dunk highlighted the resurgence.
Pace Temple saved a ball from going out of bounds along the baseline and passed to the junior, who was alone in front of the basket.
The last 10 Geneva points of the game were scored by the bench.
Reserves Jake Rocks and Jack Dreyer drained 3s while Ben Stahl and Sean Kloubec scored from the paint.
“The guys at the end of the bench work their tails off,” Ralston said. “Those were all good moments for them.”
Hubbard forward Deonte McReynolds led all scorers with 17 points.