Batavia loses heartbreaker at Night of Hoops

  • Batavia's Ethan Ivan (3) drives to the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's Ethan Ivan (3) drives to the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's Charlie Saul (22) drives to the basket against Oswego East's Ryan Johnson (12) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's Charlie Saul (22) drives to the basket against Oswego East's Ryan Johnson (12) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's A.J. Sanders (4) drives to the hoop against Oswego East's Ryan Johnson (12) and Tyler Jasek (4) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's A.J. Sanders (4) drives to the hoop against Oswego East's Ryan Johnson (12) and Tyler Jasek (4) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's Trent Tousana (20) shoots the ball in the post against three Oswego East defenders during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's Trent Tousana (20) shoots the ball in the post against three Oswego East defenders during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's Ethan Ivan drives to the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) and Ryan Johnson (12) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday.

    Batavia's Ethan Ivan drives to the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) and Ryan Johnson (12) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's J.P. Chaney (12) fights for position under the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's J.P. Chaney (12) fights for position under the basket against Oswego East's Patrick Robinson (1) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's Trent Tousana (20) shoots a three pointer against Oswego East during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's Trent Tousana (20) shoots a three pointer against Oswego East during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Batavia's J.P. Chaney (12) rebounds the ball against Oswego East's Mason Blanco (5) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Batavia's J.P. Chaney (12) rebounds the ball against Oswego East's Mason Blanco (5) during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

  • Oswego East players celebrate after Oswego East's Mekhi Lowery (24) steals the ball and hits a game winning layup in overtime against Batavia during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022.

    Oswego East players celebrate after Oswego East's Mekhi Lowery (24) steals the ball and hits a game winning layup in overtime against Batavia during the Batavia Night of Hoops at Batavia High School on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022. Sean King/for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 1/22/2022 10:57 PM

Mekhi Lowery knew he wanted to end the game right then and there.

Knotted at 50 in overtime against Batavia on Saturday, the Oswego East junior knocked the ball away from Ethan Ivan with five seconds left and turned on the jets. Lowery threw up a layup that missed, but tipped it in at the buzzer to stun Batavia 52-50 in the final of Batavia's Night of Hoops.

 

Lowery picked an opportune time for the first buzzer-beater in his high school career.

"I took a little floater and I knew [Batavia guard Trent Tousana] was smaller than me, so even if I missed, I would had the opportunity to put it back up and I [did that]," said Lowery, who had 19 points and five rebounds.

Lowery also had a critical role to play to force overtime. With Oswego East (22-1) trailing by two with 13 seconds left, Lowery connected on a game-tying layup. Tousana's heave fell short at the buzzer.

With 1:02 left in OT, Lowery, again, came up big with a layup and converted the three-point play to tie it at 50-50.

"I felt that our back was a little bit against the wall and we responded and it started with our defense," Wolves coach Ryan Velasquez said. "Wasn't pretty at times, but I felt like we had to speed them up and that helped us get a little bit of momentum and a little bit of a spark."

The Wolves' defense, Velasquez credited, led to Lowery's game-winner.

"Even though he missed it, he just stayed with it," Velasquez said. "We executed offensively down the end and I'm proud of their effort just got to stay the course."

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Oswego East has won eight straight since its only loss, and has made a habit of winning close games. The Wolves won two games in overtime at Christmas, and beat Joliet West last week on Patrick Robinson's game-winner in the final seconds.

Robinson had nine points and four rebounds and Darren Oregon nine points and three rebounds Saturday. Ivan scored 19 points and Tousana 16 for Batavia (14-6).

"Oswego East is a great team; not a good team, but a great team," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "I thought we did a lot of good tonight. The end is the end, but there's a lot to look forward to with this group and I think we're going to grow from it and there's things to take out of it. Lot of credit to Oswego East and they're a great team. We're close."

In the previous game at Batavia, Wheaton Warrenville South beat three-time defending Class 2A state champion Orr 46-39.

Matt Sommerdyke walked up to the free-throw line with 1:35 left and WW South nursing a seven-point lead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Orr's defensive prowess and speed was beginning to mount.

After grinding out a victory over St. Charles North on Friday despite shooting just 4-of-14 at the free-throw line, the Tigers practiced early Saturday in anticipation of their latest test.

"We came in to practice early and everything, got in a lot of free throws," Sommerdyke said. "Walking up to that line, I knew I was going to hit those two."

Indeed, Sommerdyke did.

After a flurry of ensuing turnovers by both teams, Orr senior guard Leonte Lilly made a layup with 52 seconds remaining, but the Tigers, guided by their ball press defense all season, once again, held firm.

As did their collective trust in each other on the court.

"Our biggest motto is 'next play'," Sommerdyke said following his four point, three-rebound performance. "We're a bunch of 6-foot guys who aren't playing [basketball] at the next level, but we're going to outwork you. It's always that's next play; we don't let the defensive end affect the offensive end [or vice versa]."

WW South (21-1, 8-0) also received healthy finishes from Rourke Robinson (10 points, five rebounds), Tyler Fawcett (12 points, five rebounds) and Braylen Meredith (nine points, two rebounds)

"For our program to play a three-time defending state champion [it's] just a great opportunity for our program," Tigers coach Mike Healy said. "I just thought it was going to be a great opportunity."

After a sluggish start against the North Stars on Friday, the Tigers jumped out to an 11-point lead late in the first quarter and held on as Orr closed the gap to four at the half.

"They grinded out a weekend against two really, really good teams," Healy said. "Really proud of them."

Orr (11-5, 5-1) was paced by Caleb Hannah's seven points and three rebounds, while Davion McCarthy had eight points, all in the fourth quarter. Cameron Lawin had nine points.

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