Batavia tops West Aurora in OT at Night of Hoops
Batavia offered its fans a little extra basketball during Saturday night’s 24th annual Jim and Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops.Playing the fourth and final varsity game of the day, the Bulldogs (14-11) scored the final 4 points of regulation to send their game against West Aurora (15-7) into overtime.From there, the Bulldogs outscored the Blackhawks 12-3 in the 4-minute extra session to pull away for a 60-51 nonconference victory.“It was a great win against a great team,” said Batavia coach Jim Nazos, whose team collected its third consecutive triumph. “We got a shot there at the end of regulation and sometimes that happens — they don’t go in.“In the overtime, I thought we defended well. Hitting free throws helps and J.T. (Dietz) hit a big shot.”West Aurora struck first in overtime, grabbing a 50-48 lead on an inside basket by junior Jared Crutcher (12 points).Nearly a minute later, senior Colin Cheaney tied it with a pair of free throws before Dietz (16 points, 12 rebounds) connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:06 remaining to give the Bulldogs the lead for good at 53-50.Riley Cooper hit a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 56-51, and 2 free throws apiece from Cheaney and Kyle LeFevre in the final 24 seconds sealed the deal.“Our defense leads into offense,” said Cheaney, who scored a game-high 19 points — 12 of them coming in the second half and overtime session. “We only let up three points in overtime.”Batavia jumped out to a 27-18 halftime lead, forcing Blackhawks turnovers in the first half while receiving bench support from Devion Davis, Nick Valente and LeFevre.West Aurora, meanwhile, tried to regroup after losing junior leading scorer Camron Donatlan to a right knee injury early in the opening period.“They seemed a little shell-shocked but part of that was Batavia shooting the ball very well and we were turning it over a little too much,” said Blackhawks coach Paul Kieffer, filling for head coach Brian Johnson (illness). The Blackhawks clawed back with a 15-2 third-quarter run that included 10 points from junior forward Benjamin Young (16 points) and a 3-point play by senior guard DaVion Cross (11 points).Cross, playing his second game of the season, hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter — the latter breaking a 44-44 deadlock with 4:22 remaining in regulation.“He played very well in the JV game this morning,” Kieffer said of DaVion Cross. “He just needs to get a few practices under his belt. It adds a little depth for us off the bench.”Trailing 48-44, Batavia tied the game on Eric Peterson’s 3-point play and Cheaney’s free throw.“Even when we had the lead, we knew they (Blackhawks) were going to come back,” said Nazos. “I thought we held our composure well.“We’ve been a good team trying to beat great teams all year.”DaQuan Cross added 11 rebounds for the Blackhawks.