2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/3/2014 11:16 PM

Batavia surprises Downers Grove South

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

Boys basketball records are meaningless in March, and Jeremy Schoessling was playing with additional incentive for Batavia Monday night in Plainfield.

Noting that his organized basketball career was on the line, the senior sixth man for Batavia scored all 12 of his points after the intermission to spearhead the Bulldogs' 59-52 upset over Downers Grove South at the Class 4A Plainfield East regional.

Batavia (8-17), the No. 19 seed of the East Aurora sectional complex, advances to face third-seeded Bolingbrook tonight.

The No. 14 Mustangs had their season come to a close at 11-14.

"I have been playing basketball my whole life," said Schoesslingg, who scored 5 points in only seconds to end the third quarter with a 3-point play and subsequent steal. "This is the last time I'm going to play (organized) basketball."

Batavia had struggled for the most of the game with the Mustangs' pressure defense and attendant cold shooting for the field.

Despite scoring only 18 first-half points, Batavia only trailed by a point at the break.

But both teams started to find their rhythm offensively in the third quarter.

The Coffey brothers, senior Micah and sophomore Canaan, both finished in double figures as the former scored a team-high 15 points; the latter hit three 3-pointers in fashioning his 11-point night.

Downers South opened its second-largest lead of the game late in the third period at 35-29, but Schoessling scored while getting hacked in the paint.

Assigned to guard Downers South fearsome sharpshooter Danny Spinuzza, Schoessling held the dangerous southpaw to 12 points.

Schoessling had a steal and layup seconds before the third-period buzzer to bring Batavia to within 35-34 entering the final quarter.

"(Coach Jim Nazos) gave me the confidence to guard their best player," Schoessling said.

Canaan Coffey and Schoessling hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Bulldogs' answered run bridging the final two quarters to 11 points.

Downers South would never lead again, though with four players finishing in double figures the Mustangs did cut their deficit to a single possession three times late in the game.

Batavia would salt the game away from the free-throw line, converting 13 free throws to anchor its 25-point victory.

"It's great to see a guy like (Schoessling) have a game like that, at the time he did," Nazos said. "The (Schoessling performance) at the end of the third quarter was a big play."

Danny Pieczynski was almost the third Batavia player in double figures with 8 points.

Paul Engo had game-high 16 points to lead the four Downers South players in double digits.

Spinuzza fouled out in his final high school game.

Kovas Rugienius and Darryl Mantas added 10 each for Downers South.

"Jimmy (Nazos) did a good job," Downers South coach Kris Olson. "We're a 3-point shooting team. We didn't many good looks."

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