Boys Basketball: Geneva squeaks out OT win at Waubonsie ValleyBrandon Malby (24) of Waubonsie Valley pops a short jump shot as Connor Chapman (44), Ryan Willing (top left) and Mark Becker (11) of Geneva move in to defend. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 17, 2011 12:14AM
Fearful of getting lulled to sleep by Geneva’s slow-paced approach on offense, Waubonsie Valley’s worst fears seemed justified for about 28 minutes on Friday night.
Finally waking up after their long slumber, the Warriors had an energized stretch over the final 4:04 in regulation to erase a 10-point deficit and send the game to overtime.
But the 14-4 run Waubonsie Valley engineered to conclude regulation turned out to be all for naught, as Geneva persevered to pull out a 57-56 overtime victory in Aurora.
“Give Geneva a lot of credit. They played harder. They were the better team,” Waubonsie Valley coach Steve Weemer said. “I told (the guys) on the board (before the game that) the team that plays the hardest is gonna win.”
Paced by three double-digit scorers, the Vikings were able to control the pace for the most of the night, while doing a tremendous job defensively on Warriors junior guard Jared Brownridge in the process.
Racing out to a 9-1 lead early in the first quarter, Geneva (4-4, 2-1 Upstate Eight River) took a 22-20 lead into the locker room at halftime, with Brownridge held to just one field goal and three points.
After a basket from Waubonsie Valley senior Brandon Malby tied the game to open the third quarter, the Vikings ended the quarter on a 17-7 run to take a 39-29 lead into the fourth.
Geneva saw Brownridge (16 points) get going late in the fourth, scoring eight points in the quarter — including rattling home the three-pointer that tied the game at 48-all with 58 seconds left in regulation.
“Well, we knew Brownridge was a great player coming in,” Vikings senior guard Mark Becker said of Brownridge. “He can really shoot the ball, so I just had to chase him around as best I could and limit his shots and contest when he gets (the ball).”
Becker, meanwhile, made up for his late travel in regulation and his inability to convert on a potential game-winning layup in regulation by scoring four of his game-high 17 points in the overtime session.
Connor Chapman and Brendan Leahy joined Becker in double figures for the Vikings with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“Mark played a whale of a game at both ends of the floor,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “We just kind of told him — we don’t have any depth on our ability to chase (Brownridge). He had to make sure that he didn’t give (Brownridge) any clean looks.”
With 11 points, Malby joined Brownridge in double figures for Waubonsie Valley (6-3, 2-1), which has lost three of its last four games after getting off to a 5-0 start.
“I’m really disappointed in me, as the coach, and my team,” Weemer said. “We didn’t play hard enough. ... The loss is on me. We’re gonna get better. The loss is on me. Players win, coaches (coach). The loss is on me, so we’re gonna get better.”