GENOA – The Genoa-Kingston bench exhibited the most active hands in the gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Every Rockford Christian possession, the Cogs' reserves could be heard clapping consistently for the players on the floor, urging them to bear down against an extremely patient Rockford Christian offense.
G-K's defense rose to the occasion, holding the Royal Lions to 19 percent shooting over the first three quarters and forcing 12 turnovers in a 48-35 Big Northern Conference East victory at home that wasn't that close.
"We wanted to try and find our identity again and that's being solid defensively," G-K coach Corey Jenkins said. "We had not been very good. Up at Richmond we only created six turnovers up there. ... Our defensive pressure was poor that night."
G-K's (13-6, 5-1 BNC East) offense got off to a slow start in the first quarter, failing to record a field goal in the first 5:53, but G-K still managed to carry an 11-6 lead after a layup from Griffin McNeal underneath off the feed from Ian Fell.
The Cogs' full-court press and stingy defense forced nine first-half turnovers from Rockford Christian and those extra possessions would finally translate into points in the second quarter.
Colin Broderick came off the bench to record three 3-pointers in the second quarter, all of them from the corner, and sixth man Danny Hansen knocked down two of his own from beyond the arc. In all, G-K would rattle off a 13-0 run over a four-minute span and Broderick's final three with two seconds remaining put the Cogs up, 32-11, at halftime.
"Especially with Lucca, I don't think anybody in the BNC is better than him at attacking the lane and getting to crash in on him," Broderick said. "It leaves me with wide-open shots, which are easier to knock down."
G-K's lead got as big as 28 points in the third quarter before Rockford Christian's late run cut the deficit inside of 20.
Broderick and Hansen each had 12 points to lead the Cogs. Tommy Hansen had eight to go along with five rebounds while McNeal had six points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
As the regular season comes into its last month, G-K is still looking for a little more consistency overall.
"A couple days ago before practice we watched tape from the Burlington game earlier in the year, trying to get that back," Broderick said. "That's when we really were at the top."