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Elgin's trap stops Batavia boys basketball

BATAVIA – It appeared that the Batavia boys basketball team had sprung Elgin’s trapping defense in the early going of Saturday night's Upstate Eight Conference River Division game.

The Bulldogs led for most of the first half as they were able to feed the ball to an open man underneath the basket before Elgin defenders forced turnovers in the backcourt. 

Elgin set a more effective trap in the in the second half that swung the momentum its way and resulted in a 72-51 loss for Batavia.

“I felt in the first quarter and into the last two minutes of the second, the game was played exactly how we wanted to play it as a team. I thought we were really strong and we were confident,” Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. “I thought we guarded really well in a half-court set. I thought we did a good job making the extract pass on the offense.”

The Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the game and didn’t allow a Maroon basket for the first five minutes. Ryan Sitter scored Elgin’s first field goal on a 3-pointer from the right wing. Batavia  6-13, 1-7) led, 16-10, after the first eight minutes.

“We played full-court man all game last night with six guys and our legs were a little dead and we missed some shots early,” Elgin (7-11, 3-4) coach Mike Sitter said. “I took two timeouts in the first quarter. I haven’t done that all year long. I told the team [during a timeout] that the shots are going to eventually fall, just keep being aggressive.”

The Bulldogs had their biggest lead of the evening halfway through the second quarter, 24-14, on a Jacob Roberts trey.

Elgin then went on 17-2 run, led by Isaiah Butler and Lavion Baldwin to take a 31-26 lead at halftime. Butler, who led all scorers with 25 points, and Baldwin (15) scored all but two of the points.

In the second half, the Maroons shut down Batavia passing lanes, making it harder for the Bulldogs to get the ball inside. Elgin held the Bulldogs to four buckets during the third quarter and ended the quarter with a 57-35 lead.

“We had to recognize which passing lanes they were going to use to reverse the ball and get into those passing lanes,” Sitter said. “I thought we did that well in the second half.”                        

“It was five points at the half, but the game was right there,” Nazos said. “But we slipped back in the second half. It was a good job by Elgin, sticking with [the trapping defense] and creating the turnovers they did.”

“It’s a really effective defense, and they run it really well,” Batavia’s Tucker Knox said. “It seemed like everywhere you looked, there’s another guy. It’s tough.”

The senior forward led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Micah Coffey scored seven points and Danny Pieczynski added six.

Ryan Sitter scored 15 points for the Maroons.

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