Beaver Falls, PA – After a solid win against Houghton in its home opener, the Geneva Men’s Basketball team met Valley Forge Christian College in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Tournament at Geneva College on Saturday afternoon. Geneva battled tooth and nail with the Patriots from the eastern side of the state, but a late run by the Patriots sunk Geneva 79-76 for a 1-1 overall record.
The Golden Tornadoes held the lead for most of a fast-paced, but turnover heavy first half. An extremely athletic Valley Forge Christian squad capitalized on 11 Geneva first half turnovers to keep the game close as Geneva’s half-court defense excelled. Fantastic help-side defense and tremendous 1v1 defending led to five first half blocks for the Golden Tornadoes while they forced nine turnovers of their own. A balanced scoring attack, predominantly by the starters, gave the Tornadoes a 38-37 lead at the half as Tyler Damazo led Geneva with eight points and an impressive seven first half rebounds.
The game remained tight throughout the second half as each team traded the lead on several occasions. Both teams protected the basketball much better in the second half but Valley Forge was still able to use their athleticism in transition to hurt the Golden Tornadoes. Down by one with just under a minute to go, Geneva gave up a costly turnover that Valley Forge turned into two points at the other end to make the score 79-76 with 15 seconds on the clock. The Golden Tornadoes had difficulty getting their shooters free on their final possession and were forced into a tough long range jumper that came up short to give Valley Forge the three point win.
Geneva shot an impressive 51 percent from the field but only 4-17 (23 percent) from beyond the arc. Starter Jacob Grim paced the Tornadoes with 18 points and Tyler Damazo finished the night with 18 points and eight rebounds while shooting 8-12 from the field. Jordan Harbison scored 15 points on the night and Trevor York contributed a solid 10 point effort. Geneva did not get much production outside their starting lineup as the bench combined for only eight points.
Geneva starters Jacob Grim and Jordan Harbison were named to the All-Tournament Team for their stellar play over the weekend. Valley Forge Christian starter Lance Harris shot 12-18 from the field and finished with 27 points and 7 boards on the night to earn himself the tournament MVP.
Geneva will travel to Carnegie Mellon University to battle the Tartans at 7:30pm on November 18th.
Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, Adult Degree Programs with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of Scripture, a Geneva education is grounded in God’s word as well as in a core curriculum designed to prepare students vocationally to think, write and communicate well in today’s world.