PLANO - After losing their first two games of the Plano Christmas Classic, the Genoa-Kingston Cogs were able to rebound and win their last two games of the tournament to claim 13th place with a 63-58 win over the Wilmington Wildcats on Saturday.
Senior forward Adam Price led the way for the Cogs with 25 points and 11 rebounds on the afternoon. Genoa-Kingston struggled to hold off Wilmington, who came from 23 down early in the second half to cut the Cogs lead to only three late in the game. Price buried a pair of free throws with 6.0 seconds left to salt away the victory.
“I try to stay confident in myself,” Price said of the free throws. “Without our guards, I wouldn’t have those opportunities though.”
Brothers Tommy and Mason Lucca operated efficiently on the perimeter, aiding Price’s big day. Tommy, the freshman point guard, had nine points, eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals on the day, while Mason, a senior guard, hit four big first-half triples to give Genoa-Kingston a 36-16 advantage at the break.
“They can both run the point and then the other just slides over to the two, so it’s nice,” Genoa-Kingston head coach Corey Jenkins said. “Mason hit his first four threes, so it was nice to get him going because he’s been struggling.”
In the second half, with the Cogs on cruise control, Wilmington was able to inch their way back into it behind 32 points from senior guard Dan O’Leary. The Wilmington guard would go on to lead the tournament in scoring, but Genoa-Kingston was able to hold him to just two points in the game’s first quarter and coasted to an 18-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We knew that they had the two big scorers, and O’Leary eventually got hot, but it was big to bottle them up a little early,” Jenkins said.
INDIAN CREEK FALLS TO YORKVILLE
In the first game on Saturday, the Indian Creek Timberwolves dropped a tight one to the Yorkville Foxes in the 15th-place game. Despite 20 points from both Jaron Todd and Tyler Reynolds, Indian Creek would go on to lose, 69-65.
The Timberwolves got out to a fast 7-0 start in the first quarter, but had their difficulties when Yorkville got into its press midway through the period. The Foxes were able to pressure their way to a 21-20 lead at the end of the first.
“I think it was probably a combination of both their pressure and our own mistakes that allowed them to force all those turnovers,” Indian Creek head coach Joe Piekarz said.
In the second quarter, Indian Creek responded with a press of its own that helped them even the score at 24-24. However, that’s when Yorkville really turned up the heat. The Foxes went on a 13-2 run and wound up carrying a 12-point lead, 43-31, into the break.
The pace slowed down in the second half, and the Timberwolves were able to cut it to single digits late in the third with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a big three from Todd. The senior guard would finish the tournament averaging 18.8 points per game.
“It would be an honor to (be named to the All-Tournament team), but it doesn’t replace winning a trophy with your teammates,” Todd said.
Unfortunately, despite cutting the lead to three on a basket by Kyle Lieving with just 34.8 seconds remaining, the Foxes would hit a pair of free throws when it mattered. A total of 23 turnovers on the day hurt Indian Creek as the Timberwolves finished 0-4 for the tournament.