No matter how sloppy things got Friday between Batavia and Streamwood in an Upstate Eight River clash, something good was going to happen to a basketball team in the throes of a losing streak.
And things got plenty sloppy, especially in a third quarter in which Streamwood outscored the Bulldogs 8-7.
But something good happened to Batavia because Micah Coffey cashed in a career-high 26 points, including 18 in the first half, to snap the Bulldogs’ six-game losing streak with a 53-36 victory. Streamwood limped home with its fifth straight setback.
Coffey left little doubt as to where this game was headed, banging down three 3-pointers and tallying 13 points to lift Batavia to a 17-6 lead after one quarter.
Streamwood (3-7, 1-4) endured a nightmarish first quarter, committing 11 turnovers. The Sabres went on to commit 26 turnovers in a game that surely had head coach Tim Jones looking for the nearest medicine cabinet for a few gulps of Maalox.
“I know Batavia was aggressive tonight, but it was our fault more than anything else,” Jones said. “It was unforced turnovers and that’s the story about us.
“If we don’t have that, we are a halfway decent basketball team,” Jones said.
Coffey wasn’t a one-man band for Batavia (3-7, 1-4), but he wasn’t far off in knocking down six 3-pointers in the game.
“We were able to come out defensively and take them away from what they wanted to do,” Coffey said. “That opened up stuff on offense because we were able to get out and run, and I was able to get open shots.”
The Bulldogs enjoyed double-digit leads most of the night, as Jason Pollack (8 points) had a solid night complementing Coffey’s outside sharpshooting with hard drives to the basket.
“We did a pretty good job of on-ball defending, and we were disciplined, not a lot of reaching, but just being strong on the ball,” Batavia coach Jim Navos said. “Streamwood has some guys who can make some plays.”
Neither team could find a rhythm in the third quarter that featured more missed shots and turnovers than anything else, but Batavia was still in cruise control at 35-23 entering the final quarter.
“A big thing for us was getting stops and rebounding the ball,” Navos said. “Micah hit shots early on, and did a great job of that.”
But can Batavia view the victory as a bust-out game, or just a case of busting up a team that didn’t have it on this particular Friday night?
“I think we’ve been on the verge of winning, and we’ve been very close in some fourth quarters, but just haven’t finished,” Navos said. “Six of our seven losses, we’ve been either tied or had a lead with under four minutes to go in the game, so it’s just a matter of pushing through for us.”
Coffey agreed with his coach.
“A win is a win, so getting this win is a huge monkey off our backs,” Coffey said. “Hopefully this will spark stuff down the road for us.”
The turnovers wreaked such havoc on Streamwood that it almost didn’t matter that the Sabres made only 14 of 35 shots for 40 percent, with no 3-pointers, and Joel Lightbourne had a team-high 10 points.
In addition to the miscues, no one on Streamwood could locate Coffey on a few of his 3-point bombs, and even when they did, the Bulldog junior connected.
“We expected that, because we know who the shooters are,” Jones said of Coffey’s monster game. “But we have to take care of the basketball. When we don’t do that, it just makes things look worse.”
Streamwood’s 6-10 center, Zack Harris, pulled down a game-high 8 rebounds and scored 8 points.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.