KESHEQUA — After losing by 18 points earlier this season to Keshequa, Geneseo traveled to the Indians home court on Tuesday and won 46-42, handing them their first loss of the season.
“It’s a confidence boost,” Geneseo head coach Paul Hazard said. “But our sectionals bracket is awesome, so we have a lot of work. But it’s really good for our confidence moving forward.”
The Blue Devils came out with a full-court press on defense that seemed to disrupt the Indians offense from the start of the game. But after a few fast breaks that allowed for easy Keshequa buckets, the Indians led 10-8 after the first quarter.
During the second quarter the Geneseo defense tightened up in the halfcourt setting, resulting in giving up just one point during the entire eight minutes. Junior guard Hailey Hopper nailed a three-pointer with a minute left in the half, and senior Jordan Welch hit a buzzer-beating layup to help take a 18-11 Blue Devil lead into the locker room at the half.
“We just packed in our zone,” Hazard said about his defensive adjustments. “They’re one of the best teams in the state, and we had to play hard.”
The Indians started the second half on a 10-2 run and looked to be taking back control of the game. But two questionable technical foul calls resulted in senior guard Anna Miskell (who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds) going 3-for-4 from the line and keeping Geneseo ahead 31-25 going into the fourth.
The Blue Devils went up by eight after a Miskell three-pointer with four minutes to go, but Keshequa stormed back to cut the Geneseo lead to 40-38 with one minute remaining.
Hopper then got fouled and went 1-for-2 from the line but Welch, who had 15 points and 16 rebounds, was there for a crucial putback that ultimately put the game out of reach with under 25 seconds to go.
“Jordan… at the end of that game, to get those boards, that was the game,” Hazard said about Welch’s fourth quarter performance.
Seventh-seeded Geneseo (12-6) will take on 10th seed Pavilion in the first round of sectionals on Wednesday, Feb. 19th.