Pressure defense helps Batavia run past WW South

Batavia had a great first quarter Tuesday night at Wheaton Warrenville South, opening up a 9-point advantage.

The Bulldogs really put the pressure on in the second stanza, however, and it was senior guard Brooke Carlson who led the way.

Carlson had 3 steals and coast-to-coast layups to start the second as the Batavia full court press caused havoc for the Tigers.

Batavia opened up a 31-16 halftime lead and didn’t look back in a 58-32 DuKane Conference girls basketball win.

“I think as a team our defense has gotten way better,” said Carlson, “and for me personally, I find myself a lot within the defense and that gets us going.

“We have a lot of energy on this team and that keeps us going through games. We never back down. You have to keep going and that kind of shows our mentality. We’re never going to give up. That’s something we struggled with in the past, but this year it’s much better.”

Carlson finished with 15 points, 6 steals and 6 boards, while Hannah Struebing paced WW South with a game-high 17 points.

“Hannah has been having a great senior year,” said Tigers coach Kasey Alderman.

“She’s a kid that we look to if we need a bucket. She knows she’s in that role, and she’s been doing a good job lately. Even when it’s not her time, she’s looking to her teammates. She has been a great leader for us."

The third of Carlson’s layups put Batavia up 24-9 with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter, and junior Natalie Warner gave the Bulldogs a big spark as well.

Warner came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers in the game.

“Natalie plays so hard and does a great job,” said Bulldogs coach Kevin Jensen.

“We actually talked recently and I told her you’re going to have one of those games where you hit three or four 3s. She’s a good shooter, but she hadn’t had a game yet where she’d broken through.

“She also kept some balls alive tonight and was rebounding in traffic. There were times when you thought they (WW South) were going to get a rebound, but she dived in to keep the ball alive.”

Carlson had another steal just after the third quarter tip and fed teammate Addie Prewitt for a bucket.

The senior did it again moments later, this time assisting on a layup by Kylee Gehrt.

Struebing had 7 of her points in the third period to help the Tigers close the gap, but sophomore Samantha Jansey sank 2 fourth quarter 3s to quash any WW South hopes of a rally.

Warner finished with 9 points for Batavia while Prewitt scored 8.

The Bulldogs (16-4, 6-1) had just returned from a trip to Fort Lauderdale Sunday, where they played 4 games (2 varsity and 2 JV).

“Half the battle tonight was getting a lot of kids in and rotating early as we tried to get our legs back from a very busy winter break," Jensen said.

Emily Troia tallied 9 points for the Tigers.

“They’re a great defensive team,” said coach Alderman of Batavia.

“They put a lot of pressure on you and force you to make quick decisions, and sometimes when that happens it’s tough to make some shots. Credit to them. They ran the court really well and that hurt us.”

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