GENOA – Genoa-Kingston has been undersized all year, let alone against a Harvest Christian team with four players standing at least 6-foot-3.
But the Cogs finished with a decisive edge on the boards, led by as much as 19 in the contest, and beat the Lions, 63-51, on Friday.
“They had a few big guys, but I think our guys that were down low did a great job of boxing out,” said G-K guard Nate Nesler, who led the Cogs with 18 points and eight rebounds. “Our guards chipped away all game and ... we ended on top for rebounding.”
G-K (7-10) also benefited from hot shooting through the game – the Cogs shot 13 of 18 from the floor in the first half and finished the game shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent on 3-pointers.
“We finally started knocking down some shots, and it really motivated our guys to get going,” G-K coach Ethan Franklin said. “Our defense has been our mainstay so far this season, and we were able to bring that as well. The offense came too and we got the job done.”
The Lions (10-6) took their first lead of the game in the first quarter at 12-11. G-K answered later in the quarter and into the second with a 16-6 run and never trailed again.
G-K finished with a 32-22 edge on the boards, with 5-11 post player Kollin Fugate grabbing six boards, as many as Harvest Christian’s 6-6 post player, Jack Nohava.
“Especially being an undersized team, we have to make that be a focus,” Franklin said. “We can’t allow that to be an excuse for us at all. We just go out and make sure all five guys are on the box at all times. We were able to seal the deal.”
By the numbers: Griffin Hansen added 16 points, and Will Franson scored 10 for the Cogs. Nohava had 11 points, while Payton Kasper led the Lions with 18, and Grant Young added 12.
Beyond the stats: The Cogs went on a 10-2 run to open the third quarter to build their biggest lead of the game, 46-27. Seven of those points were second-chance points from Fugate rebounds.
They said it: "Kollin Fugate has always 100 percent been out hustle guy. Always has been, always will be," Nesler said. "For an undersized post he does a great job rebounding, finding the ball every time."
Up next: The Lions host IMSA on Friday, while the Cogs host Belvidere Tuesday.