It’s going to take some time for Geneva to adjust to life without Sidney Santos, Michaela Loebel and Morgan Seberger, who helped lead the Vikings to a fourth-place finish at last season’s Class 4A tournament.
But Geneva has already accomplished something it never did during the Santos, Loebel and Seberger era. Wednesday, Geneva won the Rachel Bach Tournament at Glenbard East.
Grace Loberg had 15 points, Janie McCloughan added 14 points and senior guard Courtney Reynolds made two free throws in the final 36.1 seconds to lift No. 13 Geneva to a 44-41 victory over Glenbard South.
“First time,” said McCloughan, who played on two previous Geneva teams that failed to advance to the title game. “Every year we make a list of goals. There’s the obvious ones like state. This is always on there. This is important to get your season started off right. We’re excited.”
Glenbard South scored five of the first seven points and five of the last seven points of the first quarter to grab an early 14-10 lead. But Geneva (4-0) went on a 28-13 run over the next 13:20 to build a 38-27 lead with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter.
“We didn’t start off very well,” McCloughan said. “There were times when we had a lot of momentum, then we lost it, then we kind of got it back. It takes different combinations and different people to get in to know who works best together and stuff. It’s going to take time.”
Glenbard South (4-1) got within 42-41 on a basket by tournament MVP Sydney Bauman with 50 seconds remaining and had several chances to win or tie, but the Raiders missed a free throw and a 3-point attempt and committed a turnover with 4.6 seconds remaining.
“It’s early in the season,” Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda said. “We haven’t been in a situation like this before. We’re only going to get better at them. Now we know our capabilities and we’ll adjust from here.”
Ivana Markovic led Glenbard South (4-1) with 12 points and Bauman had 11 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Abby Novak and freshman guard Stephanie Hart each had three points for Geneva, which rotated four players in the backcourt with Loberg, Novak and McCloughan.
“We just need to start to finding some rhythm and start playing a little bit better together,” Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. “Getting used to who’s on the floor with you is probably our biggest thing. We also have to make better decisions, and that’s not necessarily just the newcomers. That’s everybody.”
Glenbard South also got more bad news when it learned that it will be without senior guard Megan Smith the remainder of the season. Smith tore the ACL in her left knee earlier in the tournament.
“It’s definitely a blow to us,” Fonda said. “It hurts our depth. She’s a battler.”
In the third-place game, No. 15 Downers Grove North defeated Glenbard East, 47-28. Peyton Winters had 13 points and Brigit Miller and Jada Green each had 12 for Downers North (3-1). Allison Hanson led Glenbard East (2-2) with 10 points.