Boys Basketball: La Lumiere too strong for BataviaBatavia's Mike Rueffer (10) pushes forward with La Lumiere's Antonio Drummond (2) during the first quarter at Elgin High School in Elgin, Ill., on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: December 21, 2011 10:09PM
Batavia caught a break Wednesday when La Lumiere Academy of LaPorte, Ind. — Maxpreps.com’s 10th-ranked team nationally — showed up for the Elgin Holiday Tournament semifinals without its two top scorers.
To a team as good as the Lakers, that makes little difference. The Bulldogs quickly found this out in a 59-35 defeat.
“In a game like that, your margin for error is very small,” Batavia coach Jim Roberts said.
The margin for error got even smaller when a team with 7-foot New Mexico recruit Obij Aget, 6-9 Purdue recruit Jay Simpson and 6-10 Johnathon Wilkins started hitting its three-point shots.
Southern Illinois recruit Antonio Drummond hit three first-quarter three-pointers, Croatian national team member Matej Buovac made two treys and the Lakers seized a 17-10 lead.
The Bulldogs (4-6) crept within 25-21 with a 7-0 second-quarter run, with five points from Micah Coffey, but then started committing turnovers against La Lumiere’s air-tight defense — six in the last 2½ minutes of the first half. The game quickly degenerated into a rout as the Lakers finished the second quarter with a 9-0 run for a 34-21 edge and made it a 13-0 run in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
“Not only do they have great length, but they utilize it,” Roberts said. “There were very few uncontested passes, very few times did we have an easy catch. That’s a great tribute to them.”
Batavia made 16 turnovers in the second and third quarters, the Lakers hit 13-of-23 from the floor those two quarters and the Bulldogs had to look ahead to tonight’s third-place game against Neuqua Valley.
Drummond and Aaron Emmanuel finished with 14 points each and Aget with 11 for the Lakers, who face Elgin for the championship.
“I thought our team played very unselfishly without being able to rely on two guys who we can just throw the ball to and get baskets,” La Lumiere coach Alan Huss said.
Colombia native and Indiana recruit Hanner Perea had to leave the tournament to attend the first communion of his sister, and Purdue recruit Raphael Davis left due to the death of his grandmother. Neither will be back for the title game.
Batavia had to play the last 1½ quarters without its top player, Cole Gardner, after he took an elbow to the head that drew blood but probably wasn’t going to require stitches. Gardner, who had a team-high 12 points — all in the first half — and four rebounds, did not suffer a concussion.
“When Cole did go out, I thought Zach (Strittmatter) and Luke (Horton) did a really good job of getting on the glass,” Roberts said.
Coffey had seven points and Horton six for Batavia, which had a three-game winning streak end.