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Geneva's boys basketball team had one thing going for them that their girls counterparts didn't Friday night.
The Vikings didn't have to guard Liza Fruendt.
To cap a boys/girls doubleheader with the crowd still buzzing after Fruendt's 51 points in the opener, Geneva's defense held Batavia to 9 first-half points on its way to a 57-44 win that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates.
Geneva (14-4, 4-3) coach Phil Ralston was concerned with what he saw on the defensive end in a loss to St. Charles North the previous Friday, which junior Nate Navigato said translated into more intense practices this week.
"Our defense was key the whole game," Navigato said. "I think this whole week of practice was harder, just a little more intense maybe than it usually is. We just worked hard and it paid off. It's definitely a good boost for us especially against Batavia."
Batavia (6-10, 1-5) took its only lead 4-2 when Tucker Knox assisted a cutting Micah Coffey for a basket.
After that it was pretty much downhill for the Bulldogs who were outscored 13-2 to end the quarter.
"It's been awhile since we've seen defense like that out of our team," Ralston said. "Last week was kind of our reevaluate our season, kind of look each other in the eye and decide what kind of team we are going to be. That first half I thought was just stellar, stellar defense."
On one of the more frustrating trips for Batavia, the Bulldogs worked the ball inside only to see Navigato emphatically block two straight shots.
Batavia made just 3 of 13 attempts in the first quarter and trailed 15-6 after Chris Parrilli scored the Vikings' final 6 points.
It went from bad to worse in the second. A putback bucket from Coffey was the only shot that dropped during a dreadful 3-point quarter that had the balanced Vikings up 31-9 at halftime.
"I told our guys you are not going to duplicate your performance they had at their place and I think the first half was even better," Ralston said.
Geneva's offense clicked, with 73.4 percent shooting (14 for 19) from the field in the opening half, which concerned Batavia coach Jim Nazos more than his team's offensive problems.
"There were some shooting woes, some turnovers, but I really believe it's the first part (defensive mistakes) that leads to the second," Nazos said.
Geneva scored the first six points of the second half to open a 37-9 lead. Batavia didn't quit, scoring the next 10 points including a pair of 3s from Canaan Coffey.
The Bulldogs eventually trimmed half the 28-point deficit to 48-34 with four minutes left. The Vikings, who doubled Batavia on the boards and were led in by Navigato (12 points, 9 rebounds), Cam Cook (11 points) and Parrilli (11), pushed their lead back to 18 at the line.
Micah Coffey scored 14 and Canaan Coffey had 10 for Batavia.
"We can't be a one-half team," Nazos said. "We've got to scratch and claw and give everything we have."