Luke Matan is the one senior who sees important minutes after a lot of Geneva’s manufacturing from final season graduated.
Along with leaping from a job deep on the bench to the beginning lineup, management additionally comes into play for the 6-foot-5 guard.
It’s a accountability that he doesn’t take calmly.
“I adore it,” Matan stated. “I’m simply attempting to take that management position for my staff. I do know the work I put in. I do know I put in sufficient work to guide this staff.
“I wish to be the man they give the impression of being to, and after they’re seniors, hopefully they give the impression of being again to me to arrange them.”
That doesn’t at all times result in an enormous scoring output, such because the six factors he put up Monday for the host Vikings in a 49-33 win over Hampshire at MLK Day of Hoops.
However Matan was proper there in the course of Geneva (9-9) pulling away late within the second quarter and into the second half.
That helped Jack Hatton publish a game-high 17 factors for the Vikings, whereas Hudson Kirby added 16. Hampshire (9-10) was paced by 12 factors from Adrien Ugochukwu.
Matan has the power to stretch the ground along with his 3-point taking pictures — a ability he developed earlier than he hit a five-inch progress spurt over the previous two seasons. It has allowed him to thrive within the publish as nicely.
These expertise led to all three of his discipline objectives Monday within the publish.
“I actually satisfaction myself on the three-ball,” Matan stated. “Clearly, once I wasn’t this large, that was the principle a part of my recreation. Once I’m hitting threes, they’ve to shut out on me extra.
“Like I did on this recreation, I simply pump-fake and get to the rack, use my measurement.”
Geneva coach Scott Hennig likes the flexibility Matan brings.
Matan made three 3-pointers final week towards St. Charles North and scored a career-high 20 factors on Jan. 4 towards St. Charles East.
“He’s received the power to step out,” Hennig stated. “He’s capable of toe the 3-point line and knock down some pictures, which causes a matchup drawback as a result of he’s considered one of our greater guys.”
Geneva led 12-11 early within the second quarter earlier than pulling away.
The Vikings completed the primary half on a 13-5 run to take a 25-16 halftime lead. Hatton scored seven factors throughout that span and Matan transformed a driving layup.
Matan additionally hit two of Geneva’s first three baskets of the third quarter. That was a part of a 9-2 spurt that pushed the result in 34-18. The Vikings led by as many as 23 within the fourth.
“It was simply following the sport plan,” Matan stated. “We knew we had a giant peak benefit on them, so simply pound it inside.
“Hudson and Jack had a bunch of factors, so it was simply maintaining on attacking the glass and use our measurement.”
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From when it was 12-11 to 49-26 within the fourth, Geneva outscored Hampshire 37-15.
“We didn’t come able to play, it’s so simple as that,” Hampshire coach Mike Featherly stated. “Nothing about how we performed is how we’ve performed all season. Disappointing is an understatement.”
Matan, in the meantime, is hoping to maintain his strong last highschool season going with a watch towards enjoying in school.
For a senior whose solely sport is basketball, he’s seeing his onerous work repay.
“He’s a basketball child,” Hennig stated. “He received within the weight room, received slightly bit stronger. His confidence going by means of training final yr made him higher.
“He performed AAU and purchased into our offseason program.”
Paul Johnson is a contract reporter for The Beacon-Information.