Geneva gets past Larkin; Pace Temple makes return

SHARE Geneva gets past Larkin; Pace Temple makes return

Geneva is one of the tallest teams in the state. The Vikings have two 6-8 players, three 6-7 and three 6-6. That size and the all-around skill of senior Nate Navigato has established them as one of the area’s better teams.

But forget all the size; high school basketball is about guards, and Saturday saw the return of the player the Vikings have been waiting for: junior guard Pace Temple.

Temple, also a wide receiver for the Vikings, injured his left MCL in the state quarterfinals against Cary-Grove in November. Temple is one of the top football players in the western suburbs. While Geneva is loaded with post players, it is very thin at guard.

“I don’t really like sitting still in general,” Temple said. “So Neuqua [Valley] and [St. Charles] East were hard to watch.”

Those games were Geneva’s only losses this season. The Vikings are now 11-2 and 4-1 in the Upstate Eight River after a 57-45 win over visiting Larkin on Saturday.

Temple scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds. He came in off the bench in the first quarter.

“If it had not been up to a doctor I think [Temple] would have tried to play two or three weeks ago,” Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. “He’s probably one of the best competitors I’ve seen in my life.”

No. 22 Larkin (12-5, 4-3) held Navigato scoreless in the first half and led 25-23. Navigato drained a 3-pointer with 5:36 to play in the third quarter that ignited a 15-0 run to close the quarter. The Vikings led 44-32 and never looked back.

“Sometimes halftime is a great thing, sometimes not so much,” Larkin coach Deryn Carter said.

Navigato finished with 17 points and four rebounds.

“This was an uncharacteristic game for Nate,” Ralston said. “I think he’s allowed to have one every so often.”

Bennett Fuzak, a 6-7 junior, scored 12 and 6-8 junior Loudon Vollbrecht added 10 points and 14 rebounds. Vollbrecht is wide and heavy but surprisingly light and fast on his feet.

“It seemed like he was a vacuum cleaner under that basket,” Ralston said.

Tanner Gardon, a 6-7 senior, led the Royals with 15 points and six rebounds. Highly regarded sophomore Christian Negron added five points and 10 rebounds. Keyvon Kyles and Charles Sanders each had six for Larkin.

“It’s tough to keep [Navigato] bottled up the whole game,” Carter said. “He’s a good player. He hit some big shots in the third quarter.”

The Latest
The car rammed a median on the Kennedy Expressway near Addison Street, spun out, and burst into flames, police said.
The 248 grievances obtained through a public records act request include many complaints about hostile treatment by the staff of the Kansas-based company the city hired to run the shelters.
The “medical aid in dying” measure would give mentally capable patients who are terminally ill an option of ending their own lives, an end-of-life doula and educator writes. Another bill would allow the use of psilocybin, which research shows can reduce end-of-life distress.
As the two generations feud, man makes cruel ultimatum: The marriage is over unless wife stops visiting and communicating with the couple’s son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
Stan Gehrt and Kerry Luft bring urban coyotes to the general public with “Coyotes Among Us,” a book written from the perspective of 20 years of studying coyotes at the Cook County-based Urban Coyote Research Project.