TONTOGANY – Genoa’s girls basketball team lost two of its first three games and has yet to play at home.
To a large extent, however, the Comets are right where they want to be. Genoa defeated preseason league favorite Otsego 62-41 in the Northern Buckeye Conference on Friday.
“They took the league championship away from us last year,” Genoa senior Haley Pickard said. “We want to prove we’re the better team. We came out hard and proved we’re the better team.”
Emily Edwards scored seven points in the third quarter as the Comets (2-2, 1-0 NBC) established a 44-31 advantage. Edwards, who had her team’s first six points in the fourth quarter, finished with 19 points, largely in transition.
“She’s quick and she has really good hands,” Pickard said. “She can go get the ball. She can use both of her hands, she goes up strong and she finishes.”
Pickard, who had a game-high 20 points, scored for a 56-35 lead in the fourth quarter.
Pickard, Edwards and Erica Harder each had six points in the first half as Genoa led 25-17. Harder finished with 12 points.
“The plan was to run and get up the court as fast as we could for layups,” Pickard said.
Genoa’s only losses in the NBC last season were to the defending champion Knights. Morgan Smoyer led Otsego with 15 points Friday while Kim Forshey added 12, although the Knights struggled to make shots inside at times.
The Comets fell to Clyde and Oak Harbor on the road this season and topped Tiffin Columbian at a neutral site.
“We played three tough games and that prepares you,” Genoa coach Mike DeStazio said.
Genoa is unbeaten in the NBC with a road victory in the game it certainly circled in red when the schedule came out.
“You have to ignore the crowd and play your game,” Edwards said. “(The difficult schedule early) helped us. They’re good teams. Losing made us work harder.”