One of the goals for the Batavia girls basketball team was to get past rival and perennial Upstate Eight River power Geneva this season.
Friday, the Bulldogs finally pulled it off, opening UEC River play with a 59-51 win. Batavia was 5-1 overall, 2-0 in conference play, going into Tuesday’s conference game against Larkin.
Senior Liza Fruendt had one of the best games of her career before fouling out late, scoring a game-high 31 points. Batavia led by only a point going into the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs pulled away in the fourth to get the elusive win over their rivals. Fruendt also scored 24 in the 64-36 win over Elgin Saturday.
“You always think you can beat (Geneva), but the reality is that this is the year,” Fruendt said. “This year, it is legitimate.”
West surge continues
Batavia wasn’t the only team to come up with a win over a perennial conference nemesis over the weekend.
West Aurora continued its impressive start to the season with a 51-45 win over DuPage Valley Conference power Naperville Central. The Blackhawks have already surpassed last season’s win total of six, going 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the DVC going into Tuesday’s nonconference tilt at Yorkville.
“Even when they were in middle school it was tough,” West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said of the struggles this team had prior to this year. “They’re fired up this year. They want to go. They want to do it.
“They want to win conference and go to regionals and they want to keep pushing. They have their list of who they want to get back at and prove they can beat them.”
Newark bounces back
After rolling through the Little Ten last year en route to a one-loss season, Newark knew things would be different this time around.
From the all-new starting lineup to the ascension of Brian Holman to head coach to take over for the retired Dale Skelton, some growing pains were to be expected.
The Norsemen started 2-3 this season, but they have started Little Ten play at 2-0 after an impressive 45-40 win at Serena Monday. Jasmine Mitchell and Kelsea Zitt each scored 14 points after having only two points apiece at the half. Mitchell added 16 rebounds.
The Mustangs have responded well after dropping the season opener, winning the Naperville Central Tip-Off Tournament for the first time and starting the season off 6-2. They travel Thursday to the newest member of the Upstate Eight Valley, West Chicago, before hosting South Elgin on Saturday in UEC Valley play.