Batavia tops St. Francis in overtime battle; TEAM Englewood edges Kaneland

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There have been two games in Batavia’s young season, and the Bulldogs have shown two things – they play exciting basketball, and they are willing to go the extra mile.

After coming up short in overtime against Kaneland on Wednesday, Batavia again went to the extra session against St. Francis in the nightcap of the Ken Peddy Windmill Classic. This time, the Bulldogs overcame the powerful Spartan front line and prevailed 68-62.

With the score tied at 59-59, St. Francis (1-1) had the ball with 90 seconds remaining and elected to go into a delay game. The Spartans worked the clock down most of the way before Zack Prociuk took a shot that was off target.

The rebound went to 6-foot-8 Spartan center Adam Hart, but he was called for an offensive foul with 13 seconds remaining. Batavia could not get a shot off and the game went to overtime.

Jeremy Schoessling started the overtime scoring for Batavia (1-1) with a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner with 3:17 left. Two possessions later, Ryan Olsen got his own rebound twice and finally scored to put the Bulldogs up 64-59.

Hart scored on a post move and a free throw, but Kilian Brown missed from close range and Batavia was able to close the game at the line.

The first half contained three runs, two of them by the Bulldogs as they went to the locker room with a 34-24 lead despite Chasen Peez (17 points, 11 rebounds) missing most of the half with foul trouble.

Sophomore sharpshooter Canaan Coffey, who lit up Kaneland for 26 points in the opener, was shadowed throughout the game and finished with only five points. But Schoesslling (game-high 22 points) and Olson (14 points) picked up the slack in the first half with 20 of the Bulldogs’ 34 points.

St. Francis came out fired up in the second half, determined to pound the ball in to 6-4 Brown (21 points, 13 boards) and Hart (11 points, 11 rebounds). The Spartans whittled the lead down before tying it on a Brown bucket with 3:29 left in regulation.

From that point, Olsen scored a pair of buckets on assists by Coffey and Tyler Lovestrand. The second basket tied the score before St. Francis took the air out of the ball.

“That was a great win against one of the best teams we’ll see all year defensively,” said Batavia coach Jim Nazos. “We had to weather the storm of their relentless play in the second half.”

The Bulldogs shot 24 of 52 from the field against a sticky Spartan man defense. Batavia made eight shots from behind the arc, led by Schoessling’s four. 

In the opener of the doubleheader, TEAM Englewood (1-1) got eight points in one possession thanks to a technical foul in the final minute, all by Sharton Moore, to rally for a 54-50 victory over Kaneland.

John Pruett led the Knights (1-1) with 18 points, while Drew David added 11.

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