DIXON – Things were going so well.
But the good vibrations eventually turned sour, as Dixon fell 52-43 to Geneseo in a Northern Illinois Big 12 West game Tuesday at Lancaster Gym.
Dixon (6-12, 2-3) built an eight-point lead early in the second quarter, scoring 18 points in the first 11 minutes. Then the Duchesses went cold, scoring 25 points over the final 25 minutes.
"We were struggling a little bit. We had to slow down a litltle bit," said Dixon junior Brooke Bailey who scored a game-high 23 points and recently eclipsed 1,000 career points. "We weren't very patient. Our defense was pretty solid. We just had a few mishaps here and there."
The Duchesses overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to send the game to OT, but were outscored 13-4 in the 4-minute extra period.
Down 34-27 heading to the fourth quarter, Dixon fought back. Trailing 39-34 with less than 3 minutes left in regulation, the Duchesses got a three-point play from Taylor Colby (7 points) to make it a two-point game at the 2:47 mark.
Over the next few minutes, Dixon missed four free throws, while Geneseo (8-10, 3-2) missed three straight front ends. Finally, Bailey broke the free-throw drought, hitting two with 27 seconds left to tie the game at 39.
The Maple Leafs had the ball in the finals seconds, but were unable to get a good shot.
"[Coach Luke Ravlin] always says that basketball is one punch from a team, and then you bring it back with a punch," Colby said. "In this game, there was a lot of those. We definitley punched back, especially going into overtime."
In overtime, Geneseo scored the first six points and hit just enough free throws to put the game away, even though the Leafs were just 13-for-30 overall from the line.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back might have been when Geneseo's Darci Dietrich missed two free throws but got the rebound on her second miss and put it in to give the Leafs a four-point lead with less than 3 minutes remaining.
The Duchesses could not recover.
"We were able to fight back and get to overtime," Ravlin said. "We just didn't make quite enough plays. But we played really hard again. If we continue to do that, we'll be all right."
Surpassing 1,000 points was special to Bailey.
"It means a lot to me," she said. "I wouldn't be who I am without my parents and my coach, and all the people who have supported me. It's not just an honor for me; it's an honor for the school and the city."
"Brooke is a really special kid," Ravlin said. "She's very talented and, at the same time, very driven. She's worked and worked at her game. To go over 1,000 points as a junior is a great accomplishment."
Star of the game: Emily Ford, Geneseo, team-high 19 points
Key performers: Brooke Bailey, Dixon, game-high 23 points, 4 steals, 3 assists; Jamie DeFauw, Geneseo, 13 points
Up next: Sycamore at Dixon, 6 p.m. Saturday