Penn's hard-studying Geist plays like 'machine' in 78-66 win over Northridge

Hard-studying, long-working junior point guard notches 24 points, eight boards, four assists as Kingsmen move to 10-1.

Posted on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 21, 2014 at 3:53 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Jordan Geist watches basketball all the time, and Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas is sure Geist could also play it all night long.

The Kingsmen junior point guard ripped through the Raiders to the tune of 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals as Class 4A No. 8-rated Penn beat Northridge 78-66 in boys high school basketball Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Middlebury Madhouse.

Geist had the hosts on their heels much of the evening with his quick, sometimes penetrating, sometimes side-to-side moves, and his ability to score off the dribble.

“I’ve watched a lot of NBA and a lot of college and try to learn from that, and try to practice what they do, what works, and put that in my game,” Geist said after going 7-of-13 from the field and 9-of-10 at the line. “I’m just trying to work on my game.”

“The ability of Jordan Geist to drive right down the heart of our defense and score it was big,” Thomas said. “He’s a really good point guard. He’s under control. I don’t know how much, if any, he was out (Geist was credited with playing all 32 minutes), but he’s always going full speed when he’s in there. The kid’s just a machine. He could probably go three more hours.”

“A lot of things he’s taught himself,” Penn coach Al Rhodes said. “After his freshman year, he wanted to be the starting point guard the next year, and he’s worked at it and made himself that starting point guard.”

The Kingsmen (10-1), coming off their first loss — 61-57 last Friday at South Bend Washington — bounced back by beating the Raiders for the second time this season.

Senior center Taylor Brooks came off the bench to tally 16 points and grab a game-high 10 boards for the winners. Andrew Kimm added 11 points and Billy Doslak 10.

Northridge (10-2), undefeated against all other comers, but nipped by host Penn 68-65 on Dec. 28 as part of the NIC/NLC Shootout, didn’t come nearly that close this time.

The Raiders, who got a game-high 25 points from Elkhart County scoring leader Nate Ritchie (23.8), trailed 60-40 through three quarters.

They rallied to within 69-59 with 1:58 to play on Ritchie’s 3-pointer, but could never get the deficit under double digits during the final quarter.

“Andrew Kimm and Taylor Brooks were huge with their offensive rebounding and inside presence,” Rhodes said after his team piled up advantages of 19-4 in second-chance points and 33-17 in overall rebounding, “and I thought our defense did a good job getting their offense spread out.”

“I think Penn simplified what they did against us that last game and just drove it down our throats all game long,” Thomas said. “They had 25 two-point field goals, and when they missed, they got putbacks. I blame myself. We gotta pressure better. We gotta get back to the basics of guarding somebody.”

The Kingsmen shot 55 percent from the field and hit 19-of-21 free throws for just over 90 percent.

Because they couldn’t slow Penn (which averages 71 points), the Raiders fell despite shooting 47 percent from the field overall, converting 7-of-14 on 3s, going a perfect 13-of-13 at the line and finishing with single-digit turnovers.

“We have a promising game against NorthWood,” Thomas said of handing the host Panthers their first loss of the season last week, 54-52, “but NorthWood’s not in our class (4A). If we want to be a team that wants to be at an elite level, we need to beat teams like Penn.”

Pete Smith scored 12 points for Northridge. Sam Ahonen, Tom Morrison and Kurtis Hochstetler added eight apiece, with Ahonen also making three steals and Morrison dishing four assists.

Penn 78, northridge 66

Penn — Andrew Kimm 4-6 3-3 11, Christian Wittendorf 3-4 0-0 6, Billy Doslak 3-9 3-4 10, Ryan Lutz 2-5 2-2 6, Jordan Geist 7-13 9-10 24, Nate Miller 2-5 0-0 5, Taylor Brooks 7-9 2-2 16, Matt Chaffee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-51 (.549) 19-21 (.905) 78.

Northridge — Nate Ritchie 8-16 7-7 25, Tom Morrison 4-5 0-0 8, Sam Ahonen 2-6 4-4 8, Pete Smith 4-10 2-2 12, Kurtis Hochstetler 3-5 0-0 8, Christian Bach 0-0 0-0 0, Collin Utley 1-4 0-0 3, Brock Downey 1-3 0-0 2, Payton Carson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-49 (.469) 13-13 (1.000) 66.

Scoring By Quarters

Penn 19 22 19 18 — 78

Northridge 16 13 11 26 — 66

3-point goals: Penn (3-11) — Geist 1-2, Doslak 1-3, Miller 1-4; Northridge (7-14) — Hochstetler 2-2, Ritchie 2-4, Smith 2-6.

Rebounds: Penn (33) — Brooks 10, Geist 8; Northridge (17) — Ritchie 4, Hochstetler 4.

Assists: Penn (14) — Wittendorf 4, Geist 4, Doslak 3; Northridge (10) — Morrison 4.

Steals: Penn (5) — Lutz 2, Geist 2; Northridge (9) — Ahonen 3, Ritchie 2.

Turnovers: Penn 11, Northridge 9.

Fouls: Penn 15, Northridge 15. Fouled out — none.

Records: Penn 10-1, Northridge 10-2.

Next: Penn at SB Riley Friday, Jan. 24 (girl/boy varsity DH beginning with girls game at 6 p.m.); Elkhart Memorial at Northridge Saturday, Jan. 25.

JV: Penn 47, Northridge 23. Top scorers: Penn — Camden Bohn 10, Matt Trewhella 7, Evan Hosinski 6; Northridge — Spencer Jones 9, Dylan Sandy 6. JV records: Penn 10-1, Northridge 7-5.


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