Sioux City, IA – Geneva’s women’s basketball enjoyed an historic season, which included a record 24 victories and the school’s first-ever American Mideast Conference tournament title. On Thursday, the Golden Tornadoes made their first-ever appearance at the NAIA Division II national tournament. Unfortunately for Geneva, its stay in Sioux City, IA last only one game as the Golden Tornadoes came up on the short end of an 86-64 decision to Mid-America Nazarene in the first-round of the tournament. The loss put an end to Geneva’s season with a final overall record of 24-5. Mid-America Nazarene, the number two seed in its bracket, improved to 31-3 with the victory.
Geneva’s fate in Sioux City was sealed early as the Golden Tornadoes shot just 17% in the first half (5-28). Meanwhile, Mid-America was busy knocking down six three point field goals and ended the first 20 minutes with a 43-21 lead. Geneva opened the second half on a 12-2 run in the first five minutes to cut the lead to 12 points, but Geneva could not climb any closer. The second half was evenly matched with both teams posting 43 points, but the first half proved to be the difference as Geneva’s conference best defense allowed its second highest offensive output of the season.
Allyson Clarke’s 17 points put her over the 1000 point plateau for her career. Currently sitting on 1003 career points, Clarke also pulled down 12 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season. Jackie Anthony led Geneva with 19 points on 8-16 shooting from the field.
“We just didn’t get off to a very good start,” said head coach Ron Galbreath. “They are an outstanding ball club and they have great size and great athletes. It was important for us to shoot the ball well and it just took us too long to get on track. I was thrilled with the second half effort and how our girls worked hard all the way down the stretch, but it was certainly disappointing.”
Galbreath’s ball club exceeded expectations all season en route to the school’s first trip to the national tournament. “I am really happy for our program and for the entire community,” said Galbreath. “It was a great run for our gals and it was a treat to coach this team all season. It is not everyday that you get the chance to participate in a national tournament and this turned out to be one of the most rewarding season’s of my career.”