Geneva dominates DeKalb in Dayton quarterfinals
Instead of playing in the usual zone, Jimmy Rasmussen was tasked with guarding DeKalb 3-point specialist Sean Reynolds 1-on-1.
The Geneva senior was up to the task, holding the DeKalb sophomore sharpshooter to eight points in a dominating 57-38 win for the Vikings in the 95th annual Chuck Dayton Holiday Classic.
"I just had to fight through screens, that was the hardest part honestly," Rasmussen said. "I was just trying to tag him, follow him the whole game pretty much. He's a pretty good shooter so you've got to respect that."
Rasmussen also tied teammate Thomas Diamond with a game-best 16 points leading four Vikings (9-3) in double figures.
The Vikings spent a chunk of the game in a triangle-and-2, with a focus on slowing down Reynolds and senior guard Darrell Island. Reynolds was 2 for 6 from long range and 3 from 8 for the game, while Island was 5 of 12 for a DeKalb-best 11 points while being guarded by Kalen McNieve.
Geneva coach Scott Hennig said he was pleased with how his team performed defensively.
"I thought defensively we forced them to take some tough shots," Hennig said. "They have some nice players over there. The Reynolds kid is a lights-out player. Island is a nice player. [Center Davon Grant] is very good. They're just well-coached and I'm proud of my guys."
Geneva never trailed in the game, and after an 11-0 run that started in the first quarter and stretched into the second, the Viking lead was never less than eight.
DeKalb coach Mike Reynolds said there wasn't much of a silver lining in the loss.
"There's nothing positive to say about anybody," Mike Reynolds said. "We weren't very good."
DeKalb (9-3) was outrebounded 37-20 in the loss, with Diamond grabbing 15 for the Vikings. The Barbs shot less than 35 percent for the game and made just 4 of 18 3-pointers.
"We've got to be mentally focused and tough enough to guard and we have to be better," Mike Reynolds said. "We can't just think we're going to show up like we did two nights in a row and just all of a sudden win. That's not the way the world works."
Michael Lawrence scored 11 for the Vikings while Tanner Dixon added 10 and six rebounds. Grant had four points and four rebounds for the Barbs, while Tyler Vilet and Eric Rosenow had a team-best five boards.
Hennig said the team's play on the glass was a big difference maker, with Geneva owning a 10-2 edge in second-chance points.
"I thought we made them take tough twos and then we beat them up on the glass," Hennig said. "Our experience showed a little bit in terms of rebounding the basketball, we got some second chances, but we limited them to one shot. I will say they missed a couple easy ones, which helped, but I thought we did a good job in our zone to keep them out of it."
DeKalb will face Lincoln-Way West at 3 p.m. Thursday, with the winner advancing to the fifth-place game and the loser playing for seventh. Geneva will face Huntley at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday for a spot in the title game, while the loser will play for third.
"We have a lot of work to do," Rasmussen said. "We have to work these next two games. Huntley is a pretty good team but I think we can win for sure, and carrying that into the championship would be good. But we've got to win [Thursday].