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Geneva takes out frustration on Aurora Central

12/28/2012, 9:41pm CST
By Paul Johnson

Connor Chapman scored 27 points as Geneva claimed a 73-48 win over Aurora Central on Friday at East Aurora.

Geneva High School's Connor Chapman (44) prevents Aurora Central Catholic's Anthony Andujar from getting off a clean shot at the East Aurora Holiday Tournament, on Friday, December 28, 2012 in Aurora IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

After hanging with unbeaten Neuqua Valley Wednesday before losing and also seeing a win over defending Class 3A state champion Peoria Central evaporate in the final three minutes Thursday, Geneva had some aggression to take out.

Unfortunately for Aurora Central Catholic, the Chargers bore the brunt of that frustration.

The Vikings dominated the post, with senior center Connor Chapman scoring 27 points, and dominated the perimeter, shooting 6-of-12 from three-point range, to notch a thorough 73-48 win over ACC on Friday.

“We did a lot of nice things in this game, a lot of nice things,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “We talked about how we had to make someone pay for the last few days. Unfortunately for ACC, they’re just the next people on the schedule and they’re the ones that had to pay for it. We said, if you’re frustrated, take it out on the next opponent, and it was them.”

ACC (6-6) hung around early thanks to four first-quarter three-pointers, but Geneva (12-3) ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, including a Nate Navigato three-pointer at the buzzer, to make the score 22-14.

The Chargers once again used the three to get into the game in the second. Jacob May and Anthony Andujar drilled threes and Zach Flint hit a jumper, and suddenly ACC cut the lead to 27-25 and had the ball. But turnovers down the stretch helped Geneva close the half on an 8-2 run, with all the points coming from Chapman, to push the lead to 35-27 at the half.

“It went from a two-point game with the ball and a chance to tie it to an eight-point lead at the half,” ACC coach Nate Drye said. “It took the pressure off them and we never got it back from there. That was kind of the game, I thought.”

A 15-2 run in the second half proved the debilitating blow to ACC, and the Vikings led by as many as 27 points in the final period.

“We played well, finally got a win in the tournament, feels good,” Chapman said. “We knew we could get what we wanted inside, and we went there early and it worked out. When they had to get out and contest shooters, it opened up a lot for me and Nate and everybody else inside.”

Chapman took advantage of the fact that the Chargers had to jump out to guard at the three-point arc with 10-of-13 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line. Navigato scored 17 points for Geneva, and Mike Trimble really stretched the zone defense with 16 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range.

“We knew that they couldn’t match up with Connor inside and we knew we had to get touches for Nate,” Ralston said. “Fortunately the bonus we had today was that Mike Trimble had the hot hand. You had things that helped stretch that zone in areas that they didn’t want to go.”

ACC was led by Shawn Soris’ 11 points. The Chargers face Belvidere North at 3 p.m. Saturday. Geneva takes on East Aurora at 4:30 p.m. to wrap up its tournament play.

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