Retiring Streamwood boys basketball coach Tim Jones devised a shrewd plan for his final home game Wednesday, and it worked perfectly in a 47-37 victory over frustrated Batavia.
The last time the Upstate Eight River foes squared off on Dec. 21, Batavia prevailed 53-36 on the strength of junior Micah Coffey’s career-best 26-point performance, highlighted by six 3-pointers.
With that in mind, Jones directed the Sabres to switch regularly between 1-2-2 and 3-2 zone defenses because of the difficulty they had matching up with Batavia man-to-man in their previous meeting.
The results spoke for themselves. Through three quarters Batavia (10-14, 4-8) scored just 19 points on 7-of-37 shooting from the field (19 percent), 1 of 14 from 3-point range.
“We just tried to get out and contest all their shooters because Coffey had 20-plus points last time,” Streamwood senior guard Ryan Dichoso said. “We just wanted to key on their shooters.”
Streamwood (10-18, 3-9) used a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter to break free of a 16-16 tie. Dichoso opened and closed the run with 3-pointers sandwiched around a baby hook and a free throw from 6-foot-9 senior Zach Harris (11 points, 4 rebounds). The Sabres led 27-19 heading to the final quarter.
The Bulldogs finally sank three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but none drew them closer than 5 points. Streamwood held Coffey to 8 points on 1-of-9 shooting from 3-point range before he fouled out with 1:43 left in the game. Batavia starting guards Jake Pollack and Mike Rueffer were limited to 9 points combined.
“It was one of those nights when the ball was coming out of your hand and you knew it wasn’t going in,” Coffey said. “We really had to grind it out. It’s not a shooting lull that lost us that game. It was a combination of things like turnovers and boxing out on defense, which we forgot to do in the second half.”
After posing for a photo with family members, Jones thanked the administration at Streamwood for its support in his six seasons, which followed 29 years as an assistant coach at Larkin and Lake Park.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach at Streamwood,” Jones said. “It’s been a challenge. I won’t tell you it’s not. It’s teaching good athletes how to play the game of basketball. You grasp the challenge and you do what you can do with what you’ve got and do as much positive as you can.”
Jacob Siewert led the Sabres with 14 points, including 7 fourth-quarter free throws.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.