St. Charles North was coming off a stunning win over Geneva Tuesday, a victory that put the 13-7 North Stars back in the Upstate Eight River Conference race.
Batavia was coming a 1-3 record at DeKalb's MLK tourney to fall to 6-16 on the season.
You would never have guessed it watching the teams battle back and forth for 32 minutes Friday in a game that literally came down to the final second when the Bulldogs couldn't convert at the buzzer.
The North Stars (14-7, 6-2) escaped with a 37-35 win that keeps them a game behind St. Charles East and Geneva in the River race.
"Definitely a hard-fought win," North Stars coach Mike Tomczak said. "Credit Batavia for coming ready to play. They had intensity on the defensive end that we really struggled with. We were disappointed with the mental aspects of our game tonight, especially our decision-making in the half-court offense. In the conference season, against tough opponents, we need to come mentally ready to play and execute every night."
In a game with 12 ties or lead changes, Batavia (6-17, 2-5) held its last at 27-25 late in the third quarter.
As they did all night, the Bulldogs doubled North Stars leading scorer Anna Davern. Davern found Sami Sample open in the corner for a 3-point basket that put St. Charles North ahead to stay, 29-27.
The North Stars took their biggest lead 33-27 with four minutes to go on Davern's transition layup off a steal and pass ahead by freshman Jaz Harmon, who finished with 11 points, 6 steals and 4 assists.
Batavia didn't go quietly. With just 10 seconds left and down 5, Hailey Orman stole a pass and was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. She made all 3 free throws to bring Batavia within 37-35.
The North Stars missed 2 free throws with 6.4 seconds left. Morgan Erickson pushed the ball up court and found Elena Cabrera cutting through the lane. The North Stars did a good job contesting Cabrera's potential game-tying shot as the buzzer sounded.
"We got what we wanted," said Batavia coach Kevin Jensen, who thought Cabrera was fouled on the play.
"It was one of our cleaner games all year. Everything now is about taking a step forward so we can be a tough out in the postseason. We proved we can play with them to the final buzzer. It's a matter of can we get over the hump."
The North Stars outrebounded Batavia 37-26; Batavia made up for it by committing 12 turnovers to St. Charles North's 20. The teams shot nearly identical from the field -- 13 for 40 and 13 for 41 -- and from the line -- 7-of-16 to 8-of-17.
Davern led both teams with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Sample added 8 points.
Geddy Rerko paced Batavia with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Mackenzie Foster added 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
"I'm proud of my team," Rerko said. "The wins and losses don't really show it but we're working really hard."