GENEVA – Grace Hinchman had mixed emotions on Thursday night.
It was an emotional evening for Hinchman, one of the Vikings' seniors celebrating Senior Night in Geneva. But they also had business to take care of.
The Vikings did, beating Glenbard North 59-41 to clinch a share of the DuKane Conference championship with Lake Park.
“Obviously, it’s senior night and sad because it’s our last game at home," said Hinchman, a Loyola volleyball recruit. "We just wanted to come out here and just play an all-around good game and finish conference strong with a win."
Another Geneva senior, Colgate recruit Lindsay Blackmore, scored a team-high 17 points and freshman Cassidy Arni had eight for Geneva (22-6, 12-2), which solidified its spot atop the conference with a 66-61 win at Lake Park Tuesday. Senior Emma Kornak added seven points.
“It’s been one of our main goals all season (to win conference) especially going into postseason," Blackmore said. "It would give us some momentum and pride on our back to carry."
The Vikings, which won a share of a conference title for the 11th time in 12 years, took charge early Thursday. Katie Montgomery scored and fellow seniors Kornak, Blackmore and Carly Rasmussen, got on the boards to take Geneva ahead early 11-2.
Blackmore hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend Geneva's lead to 19-5, and it was 23-8 by the end of the first quarter. Geneva led 38-12 at halftime.
"The DuKane Conference is definitely a tough one. We let it slip last year," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "We were for sure looking to if not get a conference title, then at least get a piece of it. We’re going to walk away knowing we put everything on the table and played our hearts out. Even a share of it is a victory in our books."
Glenbard North (6-22, 1-13) knew Geneva was extremely motivated and would be hard to beat as the number one seed in the upcoming Hoffman Estates Sectional. Nevaeh King scored 12 points to pace the Panthers.
“We knew it was going to be a huge challenge for us," Glenbard North coach Steve Wit said. "They have seniors that really know what’s going on. They’ve been to a state final. The idea was to learn to be comfortable. Now it’s playoff time and anything can happen."