Young Team Grows Up by Working Overtime to Get Past Bethany

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Van Zanic

Director of Sports Information

(724) 847-6886



December 13, 2008



Beaver Falls, PA - Jeff Santarsiero got all he needed for a Christmas present on Saturday night as his Geneva men′s basketball team put an end to its five game losing streak with an impressive overtime victory over Bethany College, the defending PAC champions, by the score of 98-94. The win pushed Geneva′s record to 2-5 while the Bison fell to 5-4.

"We watched our team grow up a bit tonight," said the 14-year head coach. "We never wavered down the stretch against a veteran ball club. We were able to match them shot for shot and finally found a way to get a win late in the ball game.

With less than ten seconds in regulation it looked like the Golden Tornadoes were ready to settle for another close loss, but junior Bryan Hill had other ideas. Geneva trailed Bethany 84-81 with only 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation. "We used the Valpo (Valparaiso) play before and it worked at Thiel, but we just missed the shot," said Santarsiero. On this night, Hill made no mistake as he took a feed from Rich Colick and nailed a three pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime. "Bryan has unlimited range and we just wanted to get him a good look at the basket."

Geneva went on to out score Bethany 14-10 in the extra session to come away with only its second victory of the season. "This was a huge win for us," said senior point guard Justin Nardi. "With the two week break coming up we didn′t want to lose six straight." Nardi, one of only two seniors on the roster, played like a veteran with a team best 21 points including an 8-9 night from the field. Justin was not the only Nardi on track on Saturday night. Younger brother Emilio posted a season best 14 points off the bench on 5-9 shooting. "I am comfortable with my role off the bench," said the younger Nardi. "I really don′t know enough to not take big shots. When I get a good look I take it and tonight I got fortunate with some big baskets."

"We got solid contributions from a lot of guys and that′s how you win big games," said Santarsiero. "This one feels special and hopefully it will turn things around for the rest of the year."

Rich Colick scored 17 points and Bryan Hill and Lambros Svingos, playing their first games of the year off the bench, both scored 15 in helping Geneva to a victory.

Bethany got 27 points from Lance Beckwith as the Bison featured a balanced attack with six players reaching double figures.

Geneva will be back in action on December 28th and 29th as they will participate at the Defiance College tournament. Geneva returns home on January 10th to host Waynesburg College.