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Geneva gets hot, handles Hubbard early

12/27/2013, 7:30pm CST
By Paul Johnson

Geneva jumped out to a 20-point lead in the second quarter en route to a 63-35 rout of Hubbard at the East Aurora Holiday Tournament on Friday.

For the second straight day at the East Aurora Holiday Tournament, Geneva came out and quickly buried its opponent.

Friday’s victim was Hubbard, and the Vikings jumped out to a 20-point lead in the second quarter en route to a 63-35 rout. But despite taking the huge lead, the team wasn’t always happy with its play the rest of the way, which can happen when a team gets up big early.

“Trust me, there were a lot of bright spots,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “I guess when you jump out to a big lead; it can be hard to sustain that level of effort. I think those little things separate good teams with good records from teams that can be great.”

The competition level will take a step up Saturday at 5:45 p.m., when a Neuqua Valley team that has won eight straight games meets Geneva.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” Geneva senior Justin Durante said. “We’ve been prepping for this game for almost a week now. This is a big game for us.”

But Geneva (10-3) had to take care of business Friday against Hubbard before looking ahead to Neuqua, and the Vikings did just that. A 16-2 opening to the game featured five points from Nate Navigato and four from Durante. Hubbard (2-8) cut the lead to 21-11 before a 10-0 run that featured three-pointers from Jack Dreyer and Durante pushed the lead to 20.

Hubbard hung around more than Geneva would have liked, preventing a blowout.

“We just didn’t show some discipline at times,” Ralston said. “They had a chance to really blow the door open on the game at times. Instead, we didn’t take very good shots. It’s hard to say that when you shoot 55 percent from the field, but there were shots that went in that weren’t good shots. We just have to be a little bit better, crisper in what we’re doing, especially when we play Neuqua.”

Durante paced the Vikings with 15 points and seven rebounds. Navigato added 14 points and Loudon Vollbrecht added 10.

“He did a lot of really good things in this game,” Ralston said of Durante. Not just offensively; defensively, as well, he was doing really good things. He was on the glass at both ends.”

Deonte McReynolds led all scorers for Hubbard with 17 points.

Geneva has never won the championship in the East Aurora tournament, and as a program the Vikings have been shut out since winning the DeKalb tournament in 2008.

“It’s a big game for a number of reasons, not just the tournament,” Ralston said. “You look at the sectional complex and a conference rival; you want to play well in those games.”

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