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Batavia girls hoops fall short in UEC River game

BATAVIA – A strong second half from Jessica Cerda and the Streamwood girls basketball team almost went for naught Thursday night.

After the Sabres overcame Batavia’s hot start, Streamwood held on in the waning seconds to earn a 53-50 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over the host Bulldogs.

Three crucial turnovers in the game’s final 1:40 proved detrimental to the Bulldogs as Streamwood converted 2 of 3 free throws to earn its second victory in as many nights.

“We made some real bonehead plays in the final minute,” Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. “It was a tight game and those things happen, but we’ve got to clean that up.”

After Streamwood took a 51-45 lead on a 3-pointer from Brittany Delao with 5:10 left in the contest, Batavia fought its way back to close to 51-50 on a personal 5-0 scoring run from Liza Fruendt, who finished with a game-high 20 points. The Bulldogs’ defense then forced a poor Streamwood possession, but they immediately turned the ball over, giving the Sabres (11-2, 5-1 UEC River) new life.

“We can’t do that against good teams,” Jensen said. “We’ll get away with that against someone not quite as talented, but not against a team like Streamwood.”

Cerda came into the game needing only one point to eclipse 1,000 points in her career, but the Bulldogs defense clamped down and forced her to miss her first five shots. Batavia (10-5, 3-2) also out-rebounded Streamwood 15-8 in the first quarter and took a 16-11 lead after a three-pointer from Fruendt with 33 seconds left in the period.

Cerda finally found the basket on a 3-pointer to end the first and it seemed to spark the Sabres, as they overcame a 23-19 deficit to claim a 28-27 lead at halftime.

“We hit some shots and got off to a good start, but then things went south and we couldn’t get anything to fall,” Jensen said. “Our first half shooting percentage had to be 20 percent or a little worse. I don’t know what it was, but it was awful. We’re normally a much better shooting team, but I think some nerves got the better of us a little bit.”

Hannah Frazier added 11 points for Batavia while Bethany Orman finished with six.

“We kept fighting and Streamwood’s supposed to be one of the best teams in the area and we were right there with them,” Jensen said. “But we could say that about a couple of other teams we’ve faced and didn’t pull out the win. We’re still looking for that first key win, but we didn’t do all the things needed to do it tonight.”

Cerda finished with a team-high 19 points for Streamwood and now has 1,018 points in her career.

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