Rolling Meadows holds off Batavia
A resilient effort from Rolling Meadows Tuesday night led to a big nonconference girls basketball victory over Batavia.
Meadows took the lead for good early in the second quarter, but had to hold off several runs by the visiting Bulldogs to win 56-46.
"That's a very talented team," said Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky of Batavia. "Kevin (Bulldogs head coach Jensen) does a tremendous job so we knew it was going to be a battle. They have great bigs and terrific guards."
Batavia guard Erin Golden came into the contest averaging more than 9 rebounds a game, and the junior had 7 boards in the first quarter alone as the visitors built a 15-14 lead.
Then a 3-pointer by Mallory Brand keyed an 11-point second-quarter Meadows run, but Batavia scored 4 late points to trail only 29-21 at the break.
"We weren't happy with the way we closed out the first half," said Kirkorsky. "A couple of mental mistakes, but overall we were pleased with the way we played."
Meadows owned a double-digit lead in quarter three, but a Golden 3-pointer helped Batavia close to within 6.
Then the Bulldogs got within 3 in the fourth on a long 3 by Geddy Rerko.
"There's never an issue with how hard our girls play," said Jensen. "We can do things a little better here or there, but they go out there and compete every time out."
A late 3 from Brand gave Meadows some breathing room in the final minutes, then Alexa Davis, Lily Greifenstein and Susannah Holifield all hit clutch free throws down the stretch to help secure the victory.
"I kind of expected this (the Batavia rallies)," said Kirkorsky. "I've seen them play, they've got really good players so you expect them to make plays, but I thought we found a way to make some plays ourselves down the stretch."
Greifenstein led Meadows (9-1) with 19 points while Davis scored 14.
Golden had a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds for Batavia.
"She's a playmaker," said Jensen of Golden. "She's been a dynamite player for us. Erin has the ability to create something on her own, and when we're in a rut it's nice to somebody like that who can score in multiple ways."