Batavia crushes Sycamore at Morton College tourney

At this point in her career, Batavia senior point guard Brooke Carlson is all about the hardware.

Carlson, a four-year varsity player, has accomplished a long list of achievements and records in her career.

Earlier this season, she helped the Bulldogs defeat Benet for the first time in several years.

Now, Carlson and her teammates have their sights set on a bigger goal – winning the prestigious third annual Morton College girls basketball Christmas tournament.

Carlson had her customary do-it-all performance Wednesday, leading the Bulldogs with 24 points in a 61-31 victory over Sycamore on the first day of the Morton tourney. The Bulldogs (12-2) advance to play Butler at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Carlson, a Colorado State recruit, put the game away with eight points in the third quarter. Hallie Crane and Addie Prewitt both had seven points and Kylee Gehrt and Julia Arulandu each chipped in with six points.

“This is a nice win,” Carlson said. “It gives us a lot of confidence to start the tournament. We played really well together, which shows we can play with anyone.”

Gehrt said it was a solid win over a strong Sycamore (11-3) team.

“It would be a good step to win this tournament, and add to our good start to the season,” she said. “It was a great win.”

The Spartans scored all 15 of their first-half points on 3-pointers, falling victim to Batavia’s on-ball pressure and depth. Senior guard Sophia Klacik canned three 3-pointers for 11 points, while Lexi Carlsen scored all six of her points in the opening quarter.

“I thought it was one of those where we got off to a nice start,” Batavia coach Kevin Jensen said. “I think we were able to kind of wear them down with our pressure. We had four people guard Lexi, which can wear you down. I was very pleased with how hard they played. We know we will play great opponents at this tournament.”

The Spartans scored just two points in the fourth quarter to end a rough day shooting the ball.

“We came out flat, stayed flat and we finished flat,” Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. Every game we have five keys. That was the result you get when you don’t do the things you were planning to do against a very good team. We know what kind of tournament this is. We know why we are here, just to get better and hopefully we will learn from this and turn the page and get better tomorrow.”

The Bulldogs enjoyed their first game in the tournament, spreading the wealth in the scoring column while cherishing their first game after Christmas.

“Our team has learned throughout the years and especially with ourselves finding ourselves as players and as a team, we have more fun with each other and are really close,” Carlson said.

Gehrt, a Wisconsin-Whitewater recruit, showed her playfulness by not allowing an airball on a free-throw attempt to bother her.

“One of our biggest goals as captains was to have fun,” Gehrt said.

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