ROSELLE – Geneva forward Kross Garth capped the scoring Friday night with a dunk with 4.8 seconds remaining – but there was no postgame celebration.
That’s a first for the Vikings.
Lake Park knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten with a stunning 62-56 upset in DuKane Conference action.
It was a result few thought likely after visiting Geneva took a 27-18 halftime lead. But a combination of poor shooting by the Vikings and great play from the Lancers flipped the script in a hurry.
“They shot well and I felt like we missed some easy baskets,” Geneva coach Scott Hennig said. “We didn’t play really good defense. To give up 60 points; we’ve got to do better.”
The Vikings (15-1, 4-1) were rolling coming out of intermission but they lost their shooting touch in the third quarter while the Lancers (12-5, 3-3) found theirs.
Lake Park shot 12-for-18 from the floor and 18-for-21 from the free-throw line in the second half. The Lancers outscored Geneva 20-8 in the third quarter and went ahead to stay when guard Montrell Perry scored on a layup to make it 35-33 with 1:59 remaining in the third.
That was part of a 12-2 run by the Lancers. Perry scored all of his 11 points after halftime, including nine in the third quarter. Forward Trevor Montiel added eight of his 18 points in that quarter.
The Vikings, meanwhile, shot 19-for-56, with a lot of the misses coming in the paint. Senior Mitch Mascari hit his first four shots and finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, but nobody else could get going.
Jack McDonald added 13 points and Ben Johnson tallied eight points off the bench, but the rest of the starting lineup combined for eight points. Garth, who pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, was held to four points on 2-for-10 shooting.
“We tried to get [Garth] the ball,” Hennig said. “I thought he took some shots that he usually makes.
“He didn’t make them tonight and that’s going to happen. The ball is not going to go in every time you shoot it, I don’t care who you are.”
The Vikings won several close games during their 15-game winning streak, so they may have been due for a close loss.
“They definitely surprised us,” Garth said. “They just really hit their shots and a lot of ours didn’t fall.”
The Vikings fell for the first time this season but they don’t have much time to rub their wounds as they play Glenbard North on Saturday night. Garth was philosophical about the loss.
“Obviously, the first loss is always hard, but I felt like we started to get a little bit too comfortable with being undefeated and in basketball anything can happen,”Garth said. “That’s the fun thing about it. You look at March Madness, [in] those games anything happens.
“I think it’s better to happen now then when we’re in the playoffs. So we know what a loss feels like now and we’ll bounce back from it.”
Don’t expect Geneva, which starts five seniors, to fall into a funk.
“We’re definitely not going to feel sorry about ourselves,” Garth said. “We’re just going to play confident and get on another run.”