WW South fires on all cylinders in rout of Batavia
After yielding 14 points in the first quarter Thursday night, Wheaton Warrenville South was on pace to give up 50 points for the first time all season.
Things sure changed quickly.
Allowing only eight made field goals the rest of the way, the visiting Tigers ran away to a 67-36 DuKane Conference win over a strong Batavia squad.
In improving to a perfect 5-0 in league play and 15-1 overall, WW South held an opponent under 40 points for the 11th time this winter.
"That's going to happen with a team like Batavia, they are going to hit some shots," WW South senior forward Tyler Fawcett said. "But after that first quarter, we started shading more to their shooters, especially [Ethan] Ivan and [Trent] Tousana. We were just hustling and flying around on the defensive end. And then we got going offensively which helped out our defense."
Fawcett scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter as the Tigers used a late 14-5 spurt to push their lead to 32-21 by halftime. The host Bulldogs (11-4, 3-2) had trailed just 15-14 after the first eight minutes.
Fawcett also had five rebounds and two blocked shots.
"It all comes down to having confidence in ourselves, believing in ourselves and working our tails off," Fawcett said. "That is what we pride ourselves on. We won't have the tallest guys or the biggest names but we will work harder than you. That's what we've prided our program on in the past and will continue to for years in the future."
Another thing that WW South prides itself on is sharing the basketball and the Tigers once again put on a passing clinic, with everybody on the court contributing offensively. Rourke Robinson and Braylen Meredith joined Fawcett in double figures with 15 and 13 points apiece.
Danny Healy contributed seven points and eight rebounds and Matt Sommerdyke chipped in with six points.
"I'm just as excited to see my teammates make a shot then when I do," said Danny Healy. "We don't care who scores. We are just out there to play good basketball and get the win. This is a group of guys who grew up together and it's always been that way. We play selfless basketball.
"We also work out butts off day in and day out. And after a big win, we want to raise the bar. We were unknown at the beginning of the year but that probably has changed now. But we just want to continue to play our best."
WW South, whose only loss came by a 47-43 margin to Normal on Dec. 30 as part of the State Farm Holiday Classic in Bloomington, put the game away with an 18-0 spurt that spanned the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. Colin Moore had both of his baskets during the stretch and also finished with three steals.
"I think we played really well all the way around," WW South coach Mike Healy said. "We hung in the first quarter with our offense which is a little uncharacteristic of us. But then we buckled down the last three quarters. We rebounded well and we did a great job sharing the ball offensively and finding people when they were open.
"This is a group of kids who love to play with each other. They care for each other and don't care who get the credit."
Batavia was coming off a 3-1 showing at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic which included a pair of overtime wins. Ivan scored his team's first nine points and finished with 16. Tousana added nine points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, who never got closer than eight after Charlie Saul kicked off the second half with a 3-pointer.
"They played really well," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "Congratulate them, they are a really good team. We just had a hard time getting consistent stops and we also got outrebounded 32-12. That's a big issue. They hit the glass well, they made open shots and they did a great job taking us out of some things we wanted to do offensively.
"We will learn from this and get better. This group wants a lot, they want more. We will come back tomorrow and work."