ROCK FALLS – A promising start quickly fizzled.
Rock Falls jumped out to a six-point lead in the opening minutes, but stuggled mightily in the second half of a 72-50 loss to Geneseo in the final game of the Rock Falls Shootout on Saturday night at Tabor Gym.
The Rockets (4-8) shot out to an 8-2 lead just over 2 minutes into the action with an eight-point run. The tear included 3-pointers from James McFadden and Austin Donoho, and a fast-break basket by Cory McCallister.
Soon, however, the points became harder and harder to come by. Rock Falls shot just 27 percent (14-for-51). The Rockets’ last lead was 14-12.
Donoho scored a game-high 22 points to go along with six steals and five rebounds. McCallister added nine points.
“We started out with a good run, but unfortunately, we fell apart a little bit in the second half,” Donoho said. “It started to snowball. We couldn’t find the bottom of the net, and everything went downhill from there.”
Geneseo (5-7) went up 19-14 by the end of the first quarter. Point guard Ethan Radue scored nine points in the quarter, and big man Drew Himmelman eight.
Radue scored a team-high 19 points, and Himmelman 18. Rock Falls missed 6-foot-6 Daegan Wharff against the 6-7 Himmelman, who was 4-for-4 in the first quarter and 7-for-10 overall.
Wharff is sidelined with an ankle injury but should return next week, according to Rockets coach Brad Bickett.
The Maple Leafs went up by seven twice in the early portion of the second quarter. The Rockets sliced the margin to one late in the first half, and trailed 31-28 at the break.
Two free throws from Donoho 14 seconds into the second half again made it a one-point game. From there on, Geneseo outscored Rock Falls 41-20.
The Leafs used a 13-3 blitz to make it 44-33 with 4:45 left in the third quarter. Geneseo led 49-40 after three quarters, and outscored the Rockets 23-10 in the fourth quarter.
“It’s kind of the way things have been going for us,” Bickett said. “We missed some opportunities. I thought we let some missed shots affect our defensive effort.”
Geneseo 72, Rock Falls 50
Star of the game: Ethan Radue, Geneseo, team-high 19 points
Key performers: Austin Donoho, Rock Falls, game-high 22 points, 6 steals, 5 rebounds; Drew Himmelman, Geneseo, 18 points
Up next: Alleman at Rock Falls, 7:15 p.m. Tuesday