2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/9/2014 12:04 AM

Batavia gives St. Joseph a scare

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Batavia's basketball team finished 0-2 for the weekend following Saturday night's 58-51 loss to perennial powerhouse St. Joseph at the 21st annual Jim and Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops.

However, it was far from a lost weekend for the Bulldogs (6-15), who battled St. Charles North tough in a 48-42 loss Friday night before putting a scare into the Chargers (18-4) nearly 24 hours later.

"We're a team that I think is settling into an identity right now," said Batavia coach Jim Nazos. "Teams that keep improving at this time of the year and keep working have a chance to do something great (late in the season).

"I know what our record is and nobody cares. It's all about the next battle -- the next fight."

Batavia showed some fight after falling behind by as many as 11 points midway through the third quarter.

Trailing 39-28 with 5:41 left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs battled back to within 45-38 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Micah Coffey heading into the final period.

From there, the Bulldogs continued to chip away at the Chargers' lead.

Sophomore guard Canaan Coffey's offensive rebound putback on Batavia's opening possession of the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 45-40.

A couple minutes later, Micah Coffey drained a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 47-43 and his fourth 3-pointer of the game narrowed the deficit to 50-48 with 1:48 remaining.

After 6-9 sophomore center Nick Rakocevic (19 points, 14 rebounds) connected on a pair of free throws with 1:16 left to extend the Chargers' lead to 52-48, the Bulldogs responded with another clutch 3-pointer -- this time from Canaan Coffey (11 points) to draw within 52-51 with 1:02 remaining.

Rakocevic answered at the other end with a basket off an offensive rebound to make it 54-51 with 45 seconds left.

"We needed one more stop there," said Nazos.

Canaan Coffey followed with a 3-point attempt that rolled around the rim before staying out, and the Chargers sank 4 free throws over the final 28 seconds to preserve the hard-fought victory.

"Playing the way we did was a huge step for our team," said Micah Coffey, who scored a team-high 16 points. "I'm really proud of our guys and the way we fought that whole game. I think it shows where we're going to."

Joffery Brown and Glynn Watson added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Chargers, who dominated the rebound battle (42-18) but were unable to shake the tenacious Bulldogs.

"We've got to rebound better but position-wise on the ball and being in the right spot (defensively), I think we're tons better than where we were," said Nazos. "There's a lot of positive things that we can take away from this weekend and move on into next week and the postseason."

Tucker Knox added 13 points for the Bulldogs, who enjoyed hosting the annual 4-game hoops mini-marathon.

"This is one of the best shootouts in the state," said Micah Coffey. "It's an awesome atmosphere. We saw all the games. We had some players in this house tonight and it was a lot of fun to watch."

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