GENESEO — The Princeton Tigers haven't been to the Geneseo gym for over a decade and it looked like it Saturday night.
The Tigers looked like the old gang that couldn't shoot straight in the unfamiliar surroundings. They shot 28 percent (14-50) overall from the field, but was an ice cold 6.2 percent (1-16) beyond the arc. Usual sure-shots Christian Parry (1-6) and Garrett Allen (0-5) shot a collective 1-11 between them on 3-point attempts.
While they hung close, 35-29 after three quarters, that chilly shooting kept them from ever making up any good ground on the Maple Leafs, who ultimately won 51-39.
"We didn't shoot the ball well tonight. Twenty eight percent. That's not going to get the job done. Not good. And we still had a shot at them," PHS coach Michael Fredericks said.
The Tigers (12-10) battled close throughout the first half, using a pair of free throws by Garrett Allen and a lob pass from Allen to Koel Hjerstedt to pull within 15-14 midway through the second quarter.
A pair of Geneseo 3-pointers stretched the Maple Leafs' lead to 23-15 at the half.
Geneseo outscored PHS 7-4 run to open the third quarter up to take a 30-19 lead. The Tigers whittled that deficit down to four with a 10-3 surge.
Hjerstedt scored once, and after an Allen bucket, Hjerstedt created his own opportunity with a steal and layup to make it 32-25 at the 2:02 mark. Branden Haring followed a Beck Robbins hoop with a putback at 0:07 to make it 33-29, but the Leafs got a buzzer-beater to go up 35-29 at quarter's end.
The Tigers kept plugging away, with Parry making their only 3-point basket of the night to make it 45-39 with 2:05 to play. PHS did not score again, however, as the Leafs scored the last six points of the game.
"Princeton did an outstanding job on the rebounding front, especially their offensive rebounding. And their size in their zone gave us some problems that we had to adjust to," Geneseo coach Brad Storm said.
Fredericks said Storm told him the Tigers were the best offensive rebounding team they've come across.
Allen (11) and Parry (10) were top scorers for Princeton.
Geneseo welcomed back sophomore standout Isaiah Riviera (15 points) back into the lineup, having missed time with mono, Storm said.
"It was a good game for us in that we got to start working Isaiah Rivera back into game action. He makes a big difference for us, obviously. He struggled some, but was still a big factor in just about every way," Storm said.
"We got some other guys to score as well, being our first time with three double figure scorers so maybe his time off had some silver lining as some other guys are finding ways to score for us."
It was the first meeting between the longtime rivals at Geneseo since the days of the NCIC before the Maple Leafs departed for the Northern Illinois Big 12. Geneseo coach Brad Storm said he would like to keep the series going into the future.
"Always nice to play a 3A competition. Some of that old NCIC stuff still burns a little bit," Fredericks said.
• Tiger tails: PHS won the sophomore game 45-34. Tigers outscored the Leafs 12-7 in the fourth quarter. Jamie Reinhardt had 15 points and Cole Adams 14 for PHS. ... The Tigers met Rockridge for a TRAC crossover Tuesday and will host St. Bede Friday in a makeup date for Friday's game with St. Bede, which takes the place of Rochelle on the Tigers' schedule.