When the 18th annual Night of Hoops rolls around next winter, Batavia will get a break and play Simeon.
Well, a break might not be the best way to describe a program as talented as Simeon. But it sure beats St. Joseph, who Batavia has now played four times at this event and has yet to beat.
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The latest lost came Saturday night in front of another near capacity crowd. St. Joseph led almost wire-to-wire, and mostly by double digits, of its 61-42 victory.
Ricky Clopton scored the game's first points, which turned out to be Batavia's (13-7) only lead.
As Glenbard South did the night before, St. Joseph took advantage of Batavia turnovers and turned them into transition baskets on the other end. The Chargers totaled 13 steals, overplaying passing lanes and making life difficult for the Bulldogs' offense.
"I thought there were times where we had good player movement and when we did that we didn't hit every shot but we had good shots," Batavia coach Jim Roberts said. "When you don't do that they push you a couple more feet out from where you want to be."
Batavia pulled within 16-11 after the first quarter when Elliot Vaughn scored on a putback. The game quickly got out of hand at the start of the second quarter, with three straight turnovers leading directly to six Charger points and a 23-11 hole.
St. Joesph extended its run to 12-0 and a 28-11 lead that ended when Jesse Coffey swished a 3-pointer for Batavia's only field goal in the second quarter. St. Joe outscored Batavia 17-4 to lead 33-15 at halftime.
"When a couple shots don't go down you start pressing and you try to make the perfect pass or perfect shot and as a result mistakes multiply," Roberts said.
The Bulldogs won the third quarter 15-13 yet never really got close enough to give the Chargers a scare. Clopton scored 11 points, Coffey added 10 and Cole Gardner came off the bench for 6. Clopton and Vaughn both grabbed 8 rebounds.
Guard Wayne Simon led three St. Joe players in double figures with 21 points.
"He's our go-to guy," St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said. "We've been playing well. We have guys who can handle, penetrate."
St. Joseph's five losses are by 4, 2, 1, 7 and 1 points. One of them came to St. Charles East in the seventh-place game at the Saints' Thanksgiving tournament.
That same St. Joseph team that started 1-3 is now 16-5.
"They have got better," Pingatore said. "I thought we were too much individuals at the Thanksgiving tournament."
Now Batavia needs to make the same kind of turnaround to get out of its 3-game losing streak, with Geneva coming in Friday night.
"We talked to our kids that there are going to be tough times," Roberts said. "It's like anything else, what do you want to do with them? Do you want to learn and grow or take a step back. That's the big thing. We have to learn and be ready to go because we have a double weekend next weekend."