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Early Burlington Central run troubles G-K

GENOA – Senior Mason Lucca couldn’t put a finger on why the Genoa-Kingston boys basketball didn’t have its normal intensity during practice the past week, but he definitely saw a downturn in enthusiasm leading up to his team’s 64-41 loss to Burlington Central on Tuesday.

“We’re just kind of lackadaisical and not focused,” Lucca said. “We just need to be more determined, because I think that’ll carry over in games. There was a lot of stupidity out there today.”

That attitude was evident from the start Tuesday.

The Cogs (7-3, 2-2 Big Northern Conference East) turned the ball over five times in the first quarter. After G-K battled back from a 7-0 deficit, the Rockets went on a run of their own to take a 23-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Cogs responded by holding the Rockets to six points in the second quarter, and the score was 29-25 heading into halftime. Senior Adam Price scored 12 points in the first half.

“Defensively, we responded after that first quarter and held them to six [in the second],” coach Corey Jenkins said. “We felt we could respond [heading into the fourth], and bring it to within five].”

But the start of the fourth was a disaster for G-K, which trailed by eight entering the final eight minutes.

The Cogs turned the ball over on their first four possessions, and Burlington Central scored six points off of steals in the first minute of the fourth.

“That sucked the wind out of us,” said Lucca, who scored nine points. “If we would have come out strong, I think it there would have been a different end to the game.”

The Cogs didn’t score in the fourth until freshman Tommy Lucca made a free throw with six minutes remaining, and the Cogs’ deficit was 16.

After that, the Rockets’ lead never shrank.

“It’s all execution right now,” Jenkins said. “We’re pressing offensively right now. We’ve just got to relax and learn how to play together come crunch time.”

Burlington Central (2-7, 2-0) lost its first seven games of the season, but with key contributor Ryan Ritchie, who scored eight points, back for the last few games, they’ve been a different team.

The Cogs won six out of their first seven, but two losses in three games have been somewhat troublesome.

“I thought we had a lot more confidence in our first few games,” Mason Lucca said. “I think, since practices have been more lackadaisical, confidence has gone down a little bit.”

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