GENEVA – Wednesday’s Geneva Summer League boys basketball game between Batavia and St. Francis would have been a scorekeeper’s nightmare – if there had been one.
The contest, played with a running clock, only a time keeper and referees who did not overtax their whistles, featured players without jersey numbers, teammates with the same uniform number and wholesale substitutions.
The formalities of a varsity basketball game will wait for winter. The summer league, at least for Batavia, is about player and team development.
“The whole thing in the summer is we try to get individually better, team better. The summer is just about ourselves,” Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. “We’re taking two new classes and meshing them together into a team so we will be ready to go in the new season. Whatever St. Charles and Geneva are doing, I don’t really pay attention; basically, I’m concerned with us.”
St. Charles North edged Batavia, 39-38, with a last second basket in overtime in the first game of the night. The Bulldogs, leading all the way, beat St. Francis in the second contest, 30-19. League games are played with two 18-minute halves.
Nazos has several rosters spot to fill on his team, which finished last year with an 8-18 record. Six varsity players, including starters Micah Coffey, Tucker Knox and Jeremy Schoessling, graduated last month.
“The purpose [of the summer league] for us is we go to camp during the day and we work on skills,” Nazos said. “We then come and play at night and what really needs to be worked on, we come back and do it the next morning.”
In the first game, Batavia jumped out to a 12-5 lead against the North Stars. North whittled the lead down and tied the game, 18-18, at halftime. The lead see-sawed between the teams in the second half. A Danny Pieczynski 3-pointer from the left corner tied the game at the end of the second half.
The Bulldogs’ defense took over in the second game. St. Francis was scoreless for the first six minutes of the contest. The Spartans were held to three baskets in the first 18 minutes and trailed, 16-8, at halftime. The second half was similar as St. Francis scored its first points of the period at the 12:40 mark.
“We’ve got a lot of competition, which is good,” Nazos said. “We lost a tough one at the buzzer in the first game against [St. Charles] North. I thought we played well there in the second game.
“I really like the way the summer is going for us,” Nazos said. ”I think we have made a lot of progress individually and we’ve also made a lot of progress as a team.”