ELMHURST – If Batavia was going to knock off unbeaten Naperville North, it would need an all-hands-on-deck approach.
And the Bulldogs got one.
Role players and key defensive matchups paid dividends down the stretch of Batavia's signature win of the season, a 54-49 victory in Thursday's Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.
Batavia received its usual high-output performances from Eric Peterson, with 11 points and four rebounds, Kyle LeFevre, with 10 points and six rebounds, and Riley Cooper, with 15 points, six assists and four rebounds.
But the supporting cast, led by seniors Blake Carlson (seven points), Andrew Heinz and junior Zack Weber (six points, five rebounds) put the exclamation point on Batavia's win in a matchup that was physical from the tip-off.
It was key against an athletic Naperville North frontcourt led by junior Tom Welch, who had 17 points and six rebounds, and senior Chris Johnson, who had 13 points and five rebounds.
"It's a great win against a great team," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "Weber was huge...I thought Heinz and Collin Richter teamed-up against, I mean, I don't know if we'll play another post like that all year."
Batavia, continuing its furthest advancement at the Jack Tosh, advances to a semifinal match at 8 p.m. Friday. Brother Rice last won the tournament in 2003.
Weber, who Nazos felt was best defensively on Welch, embraced the energy role. In the early minutes of the fourth quarter, and Batavia holding on to a 43-38 lead, Weber converted on a layup and then was pummeled down to the court, taking a charge on the defensive end, which garnered much approval from the Batavia crowd.
"I know I've always been put in to play defense. It's kinda been my role all year," Weber said. "The offensive side [has] surprised me a little this year, but next man up. It really proves our depth that we have on the team."
Carlson provided opportunistic layups for the Bulldogs (10-2) in both halves, and a three-pointer to put Batavia up 40-33. Soon after, Carlson, whose role is providing hustle defensively, pounced on a steal. Although he missed the shot in transition, it showed his presence as a two-way player.
"We're all starting to figure out our own roles," Carlson said. "It's really starting to come together. We're gonna be a really good team. We are becoming a good team.
Heinz clogged any shooting lanes for Johnson, who finished 1-for-6 from the field, and scooped up 11 points in free throws.
Naperville North was able to whittle the Batavia lead down to six three different times, but free throws down the stretch kept the Huskies from clawing back in with fouls mounting.
"The guys off the bench gave great energy tonight," Cooper said. "That's something we needed when we couldn't get our normal scoring out of the guys in the first rotation.