MARENGO — Genoa-Kingston coach Ethan Franklin said his Cogs were fired up for a 10:30 a.m. game against Sycamore on Tuesday. Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy said his team wasn’t.
The Cogs forced 13 first-half turnovers, led by as much as 19 in the first half and never let the Spartans back within single digits in a 51-30 win in the quarterfinals of the E.C. Nichols tournament.
“These Christmas tournaments are hard to get up for, especially at 10:30 in the morning,” I thought our guys responded well and it was good to see it.”
The Cogs (8-2) led 14-2 in the first quarter and pushed the lead out to 26-7 in the second.
Sycamore (7-5) turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, leading to 14 points for the Cogs.
“I didn’t do good enough of a job getting these guys ready to play,” Stacy said. “It’s a morning game, you can use that as an excuse you came out lethargically, but Genoa played at the same time and they were ready to go.”
The Spartans never got closer than 12 in the second half, and the one time they did Geona-Kingston rattled off six straight, capped by a 3-pointer from Alec Golembiewski.
“I feel like we came out strong, we came out with intensity,” Golembiewski said. “The plan was we wanted to put them away right away, and I think we did that.”
The Spartans didn’t turn the ball over in the third quarter, but missed seven shots from the free-throw line.
“We are struggling to find a way to get the ball in the basket,” Stacy said. “We need to take advantage of any of those easy opportunities – layups, free throws. The hard part is it’s guys that are usually statically good free throw shooters. They just weren’t going.”
Golembiewski led the Cogs with 11 points. Colin Nesler added five points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Josh Bunting scored eight and grabbed five rebounds off the bench.
“We just came out with a sense of urgency,” Franklin said. “In my opinion we’ve been kind of just going through the motions the last couple games and we came out ready to go. “I think playing a local rival school added to that.”
Tyler York led the Spartans with 11 points, while Lucas Winburn had seven rebounds.
The Spartans will face either Woodstock North or Rockford Christian at noon Wednesday in a consolation game, while the Cogs reach the semifinals and will face the other of those teams at 1:30 p.m.
“I love these guys and we are ready to go,” Franklin said. “Whoever our opponent is these next two rounds, we’ll just try to come out of here with a win every night.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle