Wheaton Warrenville South never did find a way to neutralize Geneva post Connor Chapman Monday night in Wheaton.
The Geneva senior single-handedly outscored the Tigers in the opening half in the first quarter alone, and the forward paved the way for the Vikings' 43-33 victory at the Tigers' Class 4A boys basketball regional quarterfinal.
Chapman collected game highs of 16 points and 8 rebounds to spearhead the Vikings, who did not allow a single WW South starter to score in the opening half.
With the double-digit victory Geneva (20-8), the No. 12 seed in the Bolingbrook sectional complex, advances to meet fifth-seeded Hinsdale Central (18-6) Wednesday night.
Twenty-first seeded WW South had its season close at 7-21.
"We felt like we had the size advantage inside," said Chapman, who feasted with a series of impressive moves on the low block to score 9 points in the first quarter. "I was able to show some post moves and finish."
It could not have been a more puzzling opening half for WW South.
Sixth-man Aidan Hernandez came off the bench to score all 6 points for the team in the opening quarter; the junior forward then scored the lone field goal for WW South in the second quarter.
The other eight players to see action failed to connect on any of their combined 9 field-goal attempts or pair of free throws.
The possessions were extended throughout the first half as Geneva employed what coach Phil Ralston described as "some gimmicks" on defense to slow down WW South junior guard Matt Kienzle.
"We have been challenged all year scoring," WW South coach Robert Szorc said. "You have to make some basketball plays. (Geneva) had a great (defensive) game plan coming in. They're obviously very well-coached."
Mike Trimble hit a second-quarter 3-pointer to help stake Geneva to a 19-8 lead at the intermission.
WW South finally found some offensive rhythm as Kienzle opened the second half with a long 3-pointer.
Keishawn Watson had a putback for WW South to cap a 13-6 run, but Chris Parilli, whom Ralston lauded for his first-half defense on Kienzle, drained a 3-pointer to give the Vikings a 30-21 lead entering the final quarter.
WW South would never come closer than 9 points in the fourth quarter to end the Tigers' season.
Chapman was ultimately the difference.
"He spent a lot of time in the off-season working on his foot work," Ralston said of Chapman. "I told him before the game that this is a game you should dominate on the inside."
Hernandez paced WW South with 11 points.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.