BATAVIA – The Batavia boys basketball team went to overtime for the second straight outing to start the season, but this time earned a win, topping St. Francis, 68-62, on Friday at the Windmill City Classic.
It was all Batavia during the first half. Junior forward Chasen Peez scored the Bulldogs’ first eight points and finished with 17 on the night. Senior guard Jeremy Schoessling scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half to give Batavia a 34-24 lead heading in to halftime.
But with a major change in momentum in the third quarter, St. Francis was able to work around Batavia’s man-to-man defense and get to the rim. The Spartans’ Kilian Brown scored a game-high 23 points, eight of which came in the third quarter in the paint.
The teams battled neck-and-neck in the fourth quarter, matching baskets until the end of regulation, with the score tied at 59.
Schoessling added five points in overtime, and several costly St. Francis fouls put the game away for the Bulldogs.
Batavia coach Jim Nazos said it felt good to get a win after the Bulldogs lost in OT to Kaneland on Wednesday. St. Francis fell to 1-1 at the tournament.
“It was a great win against a great team,” Nazos said. “I think they’re the best defensive team we’ll see all year. I think we did a lot of good things offensively and took a lot of hits. I thought we just weathered the storm a little bit.”
Earlier in the night, Kaneland fell to Engelwood, 54-50.
Kaneland entered the second half down 14 points after Engelwood took advantage of early turnovers caused by a swarming half-court trap.
The Knights then roared back in the third quarter, outscoring the Eagles, 19-6, to pull within one point. Senior forward John Pruett scored 10 in the third quarter and finished with 18 to lead Kaneland scorers.
Kaneland jumped out ahead early in the fourth quarter, but the Knights could not overcome a strong fourth quarter from Engelwood forward Shartone Moore, who paced the Eagles with 26 points. Moore threw down an emphatic dunk and hit the ensuing free throw to put Englewood ahead for good late in the game.
Kaneland coach Brian Johnson was pleased his team’s resurgence in the second half, but asserted that the Knights must not fall behind like they did in the first place.
“Second half I think we started working the offense a little better, moving the ball around, getting some looks at the rim,” Johnson said. “I don’t know why we came out so flat. Maybe we have to change up a few things to get going. It was nice to see us get the lead.”
Drew David added 11 points for Kaneland (1-1).