GENEVA — Jordan Vencill scored 29 points to go along with 15 rebounds and four steals, and Hope Stanley finished with 10 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists to lead Geneva to a 67-27 senior-day victory over Edgewood on Saturday.
Kenndehl Swanson, a junior who is graduating early, was also honored during the senior-day festivities. She collected two points, three rebounds and two assists.
“Both my seniors and the one junior graduating early, both Hope and Jordan are the heart and soul of our team,” Geneva coach Mike Hassett said. “Hope does it more defensively. Jordan’s an all-around ball player, rebounding, and of course can score inside and outside. I wish she had been healthy for every game this year, then she would have reached the 1,000-point plateau, but I’m going to miss those two.
“I got a special place in my heart for them. And also Kenndehl Swanson, who has been with me for two years, too. She’s graduating early, so I’m real happy for them and how they played today.”
Vencill wasted no time making her senior day a memorable one. She scored or assisted on 12 Geneva’s first 14 points to help take a commanding 14-5 lead after one quarter. The first eight minutes were only the appetizer.
Vencill converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and added a 3-pointer from behind the arc early in the second quarter, and finished the first half with 23 points and eight rebounds.
“I’m just feeling great,” Vencill said after the game. “It’s my last game on this court and it’s getting to me. Tournament season’s coming up, we’re getting ready, and it was just great to be out there tonight and be able to just play.”
The Eagles (15-6) closed the second quarter with 15 unanswered points to extend a 22-10 lead to 37-10. They forced 24 turnovers in the half, highlighted by 16 steals from eight different players.
Gabbi Selman kept the ball rolling after the intermission. She recorded a steal on Edgewood’s first possession and exchanged it for two points, and added four more steals before the quarter came to a close.
She finished with eight points and six steals. Olivia Wilms registered six points and nine rebounds, all of which came on the offensive end, and Jordyn Jamison had six points and five steals.
The win was Geneva’s second in a row after losing its previous two games following a seven-game win streak. The Eagles have a date with Lake Ridge Academy on Monday before starting Division II tournament play against Cleveland East Shaw at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“I feel like we have our rhythm back and we’re ready for this tournament,” Vencill said. “We got Lake Ridge on Monday, at Lake Ridge, that should be a good matchup for us to get ready for this tournament, and then Saturday we’re here vs. Shaw, so we should be ready.”
The Warriors (6-15) were led by Kaci Kanicki’s 10 points and eight rebounds, and Sidney Melaragno’s nine points.
Nikki Pendleton had five points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Alaina Neczeporenko scored three points and Sara Howard dished out a pair of assists.
Without three players — Heather Farr, Maddie Bailes and Jasmine Steighner, all of whom have missed a number of games according to coach Randy Vencill — a few of the younger Warriors had an opportunity to gain more varsity experience.
Tori Skaruppa had four rebounds, two assists and a block. Brianna Melaragno recorded three rebounds. Braxtin Adams worked her way into the passing lanes and picked up two steals and a rebound.
“It’s good to see the younger girls step up and give us some good energy minutes,” Randy Vencill said. “I thought Bri and Tori definitely did that. They give us some energy on defense and they did a good job.”
Edgewood will have a week off before visiting Jefferson at 1 p.m. on Saturday for a Division II sectional semifinal. The Falcons won the first and only matchup between the two teams earlier this season, 45-31 on Nov. 30.
“We’re going to prepare all week,” Randy Vencill said. “That’s what we just talked about, prepare for what they do and prepare for pressure. So we’re going to work on those things, prepare all week and hopefully give them a good fight on Saturday.”
Saturday marked the second time Jordan Vencill played against her dad, Randy Vencill.
“It’s still weird to me to have him coach another team, but he’s still there enjoying watching me play and just supporting me all the way,” she said. “It’s just great to see him there.”