Ivan, Tousana lead Batavia to Windmill City Classic championship
Ethan Ivan was not about to pass down a unique opportunity.
"I was kind of surprised I was able to get those 3s off," the 6-foot-7 Batavia guard said. "They had been in my face the whole game."
Ivan was referring to the Waubonsie Valley defenders in the championship game of the Windmill City Classic Saturday night in Batavia.
Ivan rose to the challenge, however, draining both 3-point shots on back-to-back possessions.
The Warriors' Eric Chtilianov had forged only the second tie of the boys basketball Thanksgiving championship game with 5 minutes, 54 seconds to play before Ivan drained the consecutive shots from the perimeter.
Batavia never looked back as Ivan, who scored a game-high 31 points, was named the MVP in leading the Bulldogs to a 59-55 victory.
The schools entered the game with identical 3-0 records after dispatching Chicago Raby, Providence St. Mel and third-place Marmion earlier in the week.
The Bulldogs won their home tournament for the first time in seven years in the process.
"I was just open and took the shots," Ivan said of his two 3-pointers. "I just let it fly."
The first Ivan conversion -- from the deepest recesses of the right baseline -- gave Batavia a 53-50 lead.
Ivan ultimately scored the Bulldogs' last 9 points as his third 3-point play of the game with 2:35 remaining gave Batavia a 59-53 cushion.
Batavia began the game about as warm as leftover turkey, missing 12 of its first15 field-goal attempts.
But Ivan spearheaded a 23-point second-quarter blitz by the Bulldogs -- worth a 31-25 lead at the break -- with 14 in the frame.
Six of his points came on two straight 3-point plays.
"The and-ones really got us going," Ivan said.
Trent Tousana also had a memorable conclusion to his Thanksgiving days for Batavia.
Another senior guard for Batavia (4-0), Tousana was named the Most Inspirational Player by augmenting the game-high Ivan total with 15 points of his own.
The senior duo accounted for 25 of the Bulldogs' 28 second-half points.
"They are tough high school basketball players," Waubonsie Valley coach Andrew Schweitzer said of the two Batavia seniors. "Our game plan was to take one of them away."
The Warriors (3-1) fell behind by double-digits midway through the third quarter, but Tyler Helbing, Tre Blissett and Brylon Spicer all had field goals to close out the quarter.
The Batavia lead was suddenly 47-43 entering the fourth.
"Maybe the best thing that happened for us was the quarter ran out," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "It was like a timeout."
All-tournament selection Jackson Langendorf had 13 points to lead Waubonsie Valley; Spicer added 11, with Chtilianov adding seven off the pines.
"We had a lot of bench energy, even though we were on the road," Chtilianov said.