Stuck in the midst of its longest losing streak of the season, Batavia's basketball team snapped out of it in a big way Friday night.
Led by Jayden Johnson, Kyle LeFevre and solid support from their bench, the Bulldogs (19-6, 6-3) poured in 51 second-half points to pull away from Streamwood (11-16, 0-10) during their 83-45 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory in Batavia.
Considering the fact that the Bulldogs suffered half of their season losses the past 2 weeks against St. Charles North, Geneva and St. Joseph, recent times have been a bit trying.
"It was time to get it right," said Batavia coach Jim Nazos. "I think everybody understands how tough the conference is. We played three good teams but at the same time we want to be that type of team."
"It has been awful," added Johnson, who scored 12 of his game-high 23 points during the Bulldogs' 25-12 third-quarter surge that extended their 32-25 halftime lead to 57-37 heading into the final 8 minutes.
Leading 40-35 midway through the third quarter, Batavia finished the period on a 17-2 tear thanks to back-to back 3-pointers from Johnson and 9 points from LeFevre (14 points, 6 assists).
"My teammates did a great job of finding me," said Johnson, who canned four third-quarter 3-pointers from nearly the same spot on the floor -- left-side corner. "I made the shots but all credit to my teammates."
Johnson connected on 7 of 12 from beyond the arc as the Bulldogs enjoyed a huge 36-point advantage on 3-pointers (42-6) against the Sabres' zone defense.
"The coaches did a great job of telling us to keep going and don't lose confidence -- to keep shooting and it finally clicked," said Johnson. "It feels good to get a win."
Juniors Keenon Cole and DeAngelo Flynn paced Streamwood with 13 points and 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, respectively.
"Playing a zone -- that's our gamble," said Sabres coach Paul Kowalyszyn. "I thought we did a nice job containing them a little in the beginning but they just shot us out of it."
Nine of the Sabres' 16 turnovers occurred in the second half.
"It's the same stuff," added Kowalyszyn. "You have to be detail-oriented to beat elite programs. Until we do that, we're not going to beat the teams in the upper tier."
Zack Weber (10 points), Seth Blaeser (10 points) and Clayton Deutsch (5 rebounds, 3 assists) provided plenty of life off the bench during the Bulldogs' 26-8 fourth-quarter run.
"I think it's a great win for us right now," said Nazos. "Maybe it was a little bit of a breakthrough in the second half. A lot of good things happened there.
"Everybody in the conference knows but I don't know how many people outside know that's a very good Streamwood team. They have some nice pieces and they've played everybody tough."
Speaking of tough, Batavia hosts UEC River-leading Larkin (15-6, 8-0) Saturday night.
"It's going to be a big game," said Johnson.