MICHIGAN CITY — Extra familiarity with Jordan Geist didn't provide Concord any extra benefit in solving Penn's slick and slippery point guard.
Geist poured in 30 points, going 12-of-17 from the field along the way, and grabbed five rebounds as the No. 6-ranked Kingsmen ended the Minutemen's boys basketball season with a 66-51 semifinal victory Saturday, March 15, in the Class 4A Michigan City Regional.
The Kingsmen (23-1) advanced to the title game against Lake Central (20-3), set for later in the evening.
"Geist took over in the second half and really hurt us," Concord coach Steve Austin said after the junior netted 20 of his points following the intermission.
"He's gotten a lot better even during the season," said Austin, whose team also lost to Penn 66-48 early in the regular season, and whose son, Brett, has played with Geist in AAU. "A couple summers ago, (Geist) went down to second team in AAU, but that was so he could develop his game, so he could be more of a scorer. He seems to just keep getting better. He can handle the ball, he can shoot it. He's got a great pull-up jumper, and some of those shots he threw in (while driving), holy cow."
Geist was the lone Kingsman in double figures, but Taylor Brooks added nine points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench, while junior guard Nate Miller, also in a reserve role, continually disrupted the Minutemen, piling up a half-dozen steals to go with five points.
"Jordan got one or two fouls pretty quickly and Nate came in and did a really good job on Concord's point guard (Ramon Johnson)," Penn coach Al Rhodes said. "He's someone who can follow (Johnson) all over the floor."
Junior Filip Serwatka paced the Minutemen (15-9) with 18 points and nine rebounds, finishing 8-of-14 from the field.
Johnson, before fouling out with 2:11 remaining, added 17 points, four assists and four steals, while fellow senior Adam Glanders tallied nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
The younger Austin, as anticipated after he suffered a severe ankle sprain Monday, did not play.
"Not having Brett out there hurt us depth-wise, and then we lose Matt Wilmore for a while (to a first-half ankle injury)," Steve Austin said, "so we lose a bunch of height there, and then we have guys in foul trouble."
The Kingsmen capitalized, outscoring Concord 14-8 in second-chance points. That combined with a difference of four in turnovers led to much of the final margin on a day each team shot reasonably well from the field (Penn 51 percent, the Minutemen 46 percent) and each had 12 points at the line.
"We're not a great offensive rebounding team, but when Taylor's in there, we do better," Rhodes said.
The Kingsmen grabbed a 16-8 lead through one quarter by scoring the final seven points of that period, led by at least six points the rest of the way and were often up by double digits. The closest the Minutemen got in the fourth quarter was nine points.
"We gained two or three points here and two or three points there, and when the floor was spread, we did a really nice job," Rhodes said, "but we never really shook them until about three minutes left. Credit Concord for battling very hard."
"We missed some easy shots we normally hit," Austin said. "I don't know if it would've made a difference, but it would've made the game closer, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds, and it seemed like we had several steals where we didn't take advantage, where they got it right back. That's experience vs. non-experience. Their guys are basketball junkies, and they just make plays."
The Minutemen were coming off winning the Elkhart Sectional, including a semifinal knock-off of an 18-2 Northridge club.
"I'm extremely pleased with the season," Austin said. "People didn't think we'd do anything this year, and honestly, I had my doubts the first couple weeks. But the kids stuck with it and believed in themselves. The last four games before this one I thought we played some excellent basketball."
PENN 66, CONCORD 51
Concord — Korey Phillips 1-1 0-0 2, Danny McMahon 1-4 3-4 5, Filip Serwatka 8-14 1-2 18, Adam Glanders 4-6 1-1 9, Ramon Johnson 5-16 7-9 17, Jake Kronk 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Wilmore 0-0 0-0 0, Marvell Danner 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Danner 0-0 0-0 0, Cedric Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Troyer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-41 (.463) 12-16 (.750) 51.
Penn — Christian Wittendorf 1-2 0-0 2, Ryan Lutz 1-3 2-4 5, Andrew Kimm 2-4 3-4 7, Billy Doslak 2-7 1-2 6, Jordan Geist 12-17 5-7 30, Nate Miller 2-3 0-0 5, Taylor Brooks 4-8 1-1 9, Cory Kreiger 1-5 0-0 2, Trey Burns 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Chaffee 0-0 0-0 0, Isaiah Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Camden Bohn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-49 (.510) 12-18 (.667) 66.
Scoring By Quarters
Concord — 8 12 18 13 — 51
Penn — 16 14 19 17 — 66
3-point goals: Concord (1-8) — Serwatka 1-4; Penn (4-11) — Miller 1-1, Geist 1-2, Lutz 1-3, Doslak 1-3.
Rebounds: Concord (23) — Serwatka 9, Glanders 6; Penn (28) — Brooks 7, Kimm 5, Geist 5.
Assists: Concord (8) — Johnson 4, McMahon 3; Penn (9) — Lutz 3, Doslak 3, Miller 2.
Steals: Concord (5) — Johnson 4; Penn (11) — Miller 6, Lutz 2.
Turnovers: Concord 14, Penn 10.
Total fouls: Concord 16, Penn 16. Fouled out — Johnson (2:11, 4th quarter).
Officials: Robert Childers, Huntertown; Doug Moore, West Lafayette; Rick Scott, Logansport.
Records: Concord 15-9, Penn 23-1.