Boys Basketball: St Charles East powers past Batavia
Updated: December 8, 2011 10:17PM
It was a fast-paced Upstate Eight River contest on Thursday night as St. Charles East visited Batavia in boys basketball.
In a game where each team scored in bunches, the Saints pulled out a win, 68-58, on the strength of a dominant fourth quarter which featured senior forward Johnny Hondlik going 4-for-4 down the stretch to help his team to victory.
“We were looking at matchups a lot and felt he could expose them [Batavia],” said East coach Patrick Woods.
Batavia was missing its prominent man-in-the-middle, Cole Gardner, who suffered a knee injury in the St, Charles North game last week and has been out of action since.
Four first-quarter turnovers only five minutes into the game by Batavia gave room for the Saints to capitalize on its transition defense. 6-foot-5 forward Kendall Stephens, hampered by the flu bug, went on a personal 7-0 run to end the first quarter and put East up, 21-13, at the end of the first frame.
“Playing a team like Batavia, their just a team that you don’t push around and we knew we had to be tough,” said Stephens, whose team shot 8 of 16 in the first quarter.
Batavia answered with a 6-0 run at the outset of the second quarter to close the gap to down five points, yet another surge by the Saints gave them a 38-27 lead at half.
St. Charles East (4-2, 2-0 UEC River) went cold in the third, shooting only 27 percent and a hot-handed Jake Pollack (16 points) help tie the game going into the last quarter, 47-47.
East tightened its defense, created big turnovers and went to Hondlik (16 points) to secure a key conference away game.
“They did a good job of spreading us and attacking us,” said Batavia coach Jim Roberts.