Canton, OH – Most coaches can usually find a silver lining in any game, whether that team wins or loses. No coach is better at putting a positive spin on an outcome than Geneva head men’s basketball coach Jeff Santarsiero. However, following an 84-70 loss to Malone College on Saturday, Santarsiero was in no mood to find a silver lining. The loss, Geneva’s second in as many days at the Malone College Classic, dropped the Golden Tornadoes to 6-5, while the Pioneers improved to 5-4.
“We are really searching for an identity right now,” said Santarsiero. “I was extremely disappointed in our effort and with the lack of leadership being shown by our upperclassmen. We needed guys to step up this weekend and we didn’t get it, which is the most disappointing aspect of all.”
While Santarsiero was not willing to offer a positive spin, the play of freshman Bryan Hill was certainly a positive for the Golden Tornadoes. Hill was Geneva’s only player named to the All-Tournament team after following his 23 point effort on Friday with 11 more points on Saturday. Hill made three more jumpers from behind the arc, which gave him a total of 10 treys on the weekend. Jermaine Ferguson led Geneva with 14 points and six rebounds.
Playing without leading scorer Kyle McDermott for the second straight day, Geneva was in search of a go-to guy on offense. “We certainly missed our big guy this weekend, but one guy shouldn’t make or break a team,” said Santarsiero. “All we can do is keep working hard and continue to try and improve in every aspect of the game.”
Geneva trailed Malone by just two points at halftime, but watched the Pioneers shoot 60% (15-25) from the field in the final 20 minutes, while Geneva managed just 11 field goals in shooting less than 36% as a team.
The Golden Tornadoes will get a week off before hosting Penn State Beaver next Saturday at 1 pm at Geneva’s Metheny Fieldhouse. The Golden Tornadoes will travel to Kentucky for a tournament prior to the New Year, before embarking on the second half of the season when the games begin to count in the AMC North.