Beaver Falls, PA – History in the making became a reality at Geneva′s Metheny Fieldhouse on Tuesday night as the Golden Tornadoes′ women′s team defeated Shawnee St. 67-57 in the American Mideast Conference Tournament championship. With the victory, Geneva improved to 24-4 on the season and receives an automatic bid into the NAIA Division II national tournament, a first for Geneva′s women′s program.
“I am so proud of this group,” said head coach Ron Galbreath. “We have been getting team victories all season and we saved the best for the last. Our leadership has been amazing all season, especially from our seniors and I couldn′t be happier for them to get these results after all the hard work.”
Geneva was certainly forced to work hard on Tuesday. In fact, they were pushed harder on Tuesday by Shawnee St. than any team in the past several weeks. Despite the tough game, the Golden Tornadoes took a 32-26 lead into half time and never lost that lead in the final 20 minutes.
Twice in the second half, Shawnee St. got within two points, the second of which came at the 3:10 mark. Geneva answered with eight straight points capped by a pair of Allyson Clarke free throws that put the game away. Geneva′s ten point victory matched its biggest lead of the game.
Clarke took over the game in the second half and finished the night with a game high 27 points, to go along with 13 rebounds. Jackie Anthony scored 11 points and back court mate and senior counterpart Kylee Kittner finished with nine points in the victory. “It has not been one person standing out all year,” said Galbreath. “We have focused on doing everything as a team and this is the result.”
Geneva′s women made history on Saturday night with victory number 23, which set a new school record for wins in a year. Tonight, Geneva built on that number and continued to win for the sixth consecutive time, including three straight home wins to take the tournament title. Geneva finished the season with a 14-1 record on the home court, including 13 straight home wins to finish the season. “I was so pleased with our crowd tonight and all season long,” said Galbreath. “From our administration to our athletic department and our fans, we got amazing support all season. We defiantly fed off of the crowd tonight. It was a great atmosphere.”
Geneva′s women advance to the NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, IA for the first time in school history. The first round begins on March 8th and Geneva should find out their seed and first round opponent by Thursday. “We are not just happy to get to the tournament,” said Galbreath. “We are playing great right now and we are anxious to get to work on the national stage.”