When Geibel and Frazier meet in any varsity sport, it’s more than just a game, it’s a heated rivalry. While that rival doesn’t quite extend to the boys freshman basketball teams, a meeting between the two on Tuesday still resulted in some tough action on the court as the host Gators pulled away for a 78-39 win.
“There’s no big rivalry there at ninth grade,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said, but Geibel coach Jim Burke said the freshman squads still understand the significance of the match-up.
“They don’t realize it at first, but they find out real quick when they watch the varsity teams play,” he said. “It’s a pretty important game.”
The Commodores hung in the game in the early going, only to be somewhat stifled by the Gators’ strong defensive effort in the middle quarters.
“That’s kind of not the way it’s been all year. We’ve gotten better the last couple weeks,” Burke said, noting that Geibel has been concentrating on creating turnovers instead of committing them. “That’s been working out better for us the last couple weeks.”
It was Frazier, though, that jumped out to a 5-0 start before Dean Lewandowsky got the Gators going with the first bucket of his 26-point effort. Jeff Baluch sank a rebound to make it 5-4, and the teams traded baskets through much of the quarter until a pair of small runs lifted Geibel to a 20-15 lead.
That lead increased as Lewandowsky turned in a 13-point quarter. His total included a 3-pointer as the Gators began to open up their outside game. Mike Speelman counted a three among his five-point effort in the period, and Mitch Erdley sank four of his 10 total points.
Donnie Schultz racked up five of his team-high 12 points in the second quarter, but the Commodores fell behind 46-24 at the half.
Treys from Zach Bell and Sam Marra highlighted Geibel’s offense in the third quarter, but it was the team’s defense that really put on a show. The Gators limited Frazier to just two buckets in the period, with Aaron Souply and Ed Broadwater accounting for all of the Commodores’ points. Heading into the final period, Geibel had grabbed a 60-28 advantage.
Frazier played more competitively in the fourth, managing to reach double-digit scoring. But with Tim Paterra and John Maczko netting four points each and Jerome Nypaver getting in on the 3-point derby, the Gators stayed well ahead to put away the win.
“They moved the ball pretty evenly today. Everyone got to score, which is a nice thing to see,” Burke said, noting that his starting lineup includes three solid scorers and a couple of good rebounders. “We’re pretty well-balanced, I’d say.”
With just seven players on the roster, the Commodores have had to battle this season, but Keebler said the team still features a few strong athletes.
“(We’ve got) a couple of good guards. They handle the ball well,” he said. “A few of these kids are definitely ready to move up.”