Girls Basketball: Ashley Santos leads Geneva past Montini
Updated: November 26, 2011 7:22PM
Ashley Santos scored 24 points including five free throws in the final 3:06 as No. 13 Geneva (5-0) won the 24th Annual Geneva Thanksgiving Tournament with a 55-52 victory Saturday over Montini.
Geneva led 54-52 with 11.8 seconds remaining when Montini was called for an offensive foul. Geneva’s Sami Pawlak made just one of two free throws with 10.5 seconds left to give Montini one final shot, but Nikia Edom’s three-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
“We knew coming into today that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, that we had to fight during every possession in every game,” Santos said. “But I think our team did that very, very well. We executed everything, we stuck it out, and we kept up the intensity, which was important.”
Geneva led by as many as 10 points late in the second quarter at 28-18 on two Rachel Hinchman free throws, but No. 8 Montini (4-1) closed to within 32-30 on back-to-back three-pointers by Kateri Stone and Jasmine Lumpkin with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter.
Morgan Seberger answered with a three-pointer to extend the lead to 35-30, and a three-pointer by Santos with 6:48 left in the game gave Geneva an eight-point advantage at 44-36. But Montini closed to within 54-52 with 38 seconds left on a bucket by Tianna Brown to set up the frantic finish.
“Was that (blocking) call a little mysterious?” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “Yes. But you give up as many offensive rebounds as we did, second-chance points, and you turn the ball over as many times as we did, you put yourself in those bad spots for them to make that call.
“We’re just not experienced enough to win those close games like that, yet,” he added. “But that’s how you get better, playing in these games. If you don’t put them in situations where they can get better like this, then you kind of cheat them.”
Pawlak, a 6-foot junior forward, added 10 points and six rebounds and Hinchman had nine points for Geneva.
“(Montini) is a real good team, but we told our girls that they would make mistakes and they would make turnovers, so pressure up,” Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. “Not very many teams have played them in a man-to-man. We thought that would be a little different for them.
“At some point we called a timeout and I told the girls to take a deep breath,” the coach added. “We have 1:20 left and this is your game. We just have to finish and make good decisions. We have some little things that need to be cleaned up. We’ll get there.”
Brown had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Montini, which also got 12 points from Stone and seven from Edom.
“Tianna was awesome,” Nichols said. “The game just moved very fast for the young kids and they have to slow it down in their heads so they can see things. We weren’t going to go undefeated. All our teams that won state titles and went downstate weren’t undefeated. So you got to learn and get better, and experiences like this makes us better.”
In other games Saturday, Kendyl Nun and Tammy Russell each had 10 points as No. 9 Morgan Park (4-2) defeated Antioch 65-40, and the Mustangs rallied from an early 19-3 deficit to defeat Providence 53-52; Geneva slipped past Providence 69-56; Montini stopped Oswego 55-24; and Oswego topped Antioch 48-45 in overtime.