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Cogs done in by shooting woes

BURLINGTON – The pieces never quite came together for the Genoa-Kingston boys basketball team.

The Cogs showed flashes of how good they could be throughout the season, including a 6-1 start to the season. But after a 51-30 loss to the host Rockets in a Class 3A Burlington Central Regional quarterfinal Monday, Mason Lucca was left to reflect on a season of what-ifs.

“I don’t really think we ever reached our full potential,” the senior said. “I wish I had another year, because we have a lot of potential on our team. We had glimpses of greatness as a team, and I felt like we never played to our highest capability. That would’ve been nice to see.”

Early in the game, the Cogs were nothing like the team that took Burlington Central to overtime earlier this month, as shot after shot clanked off the rim.

Lucca’s field goal in the opening minutes was the only basket of the first quarter for the Cogs (16-11), and the Rockets led, 7-2. Adam Price hit a shot and freshman Tommy Lucca made two free throws and a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter to tie the score at nine, but the Rockets (14-13) closed out the half on a 10-0 run to take a commanding lead.

“The offense just wasn’t really clicking at all,” said Tommy Lucca, who scored a game-high 15 points. “Shots weren’t falling from the get-go. We made some silly mistakes, especially in the first half. ... They’re a long team, but that’s really no excuse with how we played. It was pretty rough from the beginning.”

After falling behind by 20 at the end of the third quarter, the G-K offense finally came alive in the fourth.

Tommy Lucca hit a 3-pointer early, then drove the length of the floor for a layup to cut the Burlington Central lead to 41-28 with 3:44 remaining.

“There was life right there,” Tommy Lucca said. “We don’t quit ever, and we always play hard to the last second.”

But that was the closest the Cogs would get.

Burlington Central senior Ryan Ritchie, who scored 14 points, hit a 3-pointer with 2:12 remaining to put the Rockets back up by 20, and the Cogs didn’t have an answer.

G-K showed glimpses of the team it could be, but after the game, coach Corey Jenkins once again was left to reflect on what-ifs.

“I liked our shots. I think if some of them dropped, the dynamics of the game change,” Jenkins said. “We just didn’t hit shots. It’s the game of basketball. You’re going to have nights like that. It’s just unfortunate that it happened in the playoffs.”

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