Boys basketball: Batavia nets third at Elgin
By Joel Reuter For Sun-Times Media December 29, 2012 9:40PM
Batavia senior Mike Rueffer (10) holds up the third place trophy after defeating Las Vegas Centennial 75-65 in the 38th annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament on Saturday. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2012 4:24PM
A 10-0 run to close out the third quarter gave Batavia the cushion it needed, as the Bulldogs captured third place at the Elgin Holiday Tournament with a 75-65 win over Las Vegas Centennial on Saturday night.
The two teams matched each other shot for shot in the first half, entering the break tied at 38, and it remained close late into the third quarter with Batavia clinging to a 52-50 lead.
However, a Mike Rueffer three-pointer sparked a 10-0 run that was capped by another three from Rueffer, as Batavia (6-8) took a commanding 62-50 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I thought we took care of the ball and rebounded the ball better there in the third quarter, and we were able to get out and find the open guy to close out the quarter,” said Batavia coach Jim Nazos.
Centennial (11-3) trimmed the lead to 67-59 midway through the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as they’d get as Batavia improved on last season’s fourth-place tournament finish.
“I think it was a great win against a great team,” said Nazos. “Coming out of here with a third-place finish is a big momentum boost heading into the new year.”
Batavia had to contend with Stanford recruits Malcolm and Marcus Allen, as the guard duo again accounted for the bulk of the Centennial offense with Marcus tallying a team-high 24 points and Malcolm close behind with 23 points.
“Those twins are a handful, they’re some of the best kids I think we’ll face all year,” said Nazos. “They can get a shot whenever they want, and we just wanted to make it contested and try to limit their touches because they have a chance to get a good shot off every time they touch it.”
Batavia indeed made it tough for them, as the pair was held to just 18-of-41 shooting on the night, and combined for just 14 second half points with Batavia stepping up their defensive effort.
“The twins have worked so hard this weekend, I think they just ran out of gas a little bit there,” said Centennial coach Todd Allen. “Give (Batavia) credit, they really slowed us down and I thought their coach did a great job.”
On the Batavia side of things, the team got a spark from guard Jake Pollack, who got things going early with 11 first quarter points on his way to a game-high 25. He had tallied just 19 total points through the team’s first three games of the tournament.
“I was feeling confident and I got good looks from my teammates drives,” said Pollack. “We just executed our coach’s plan, we wanted to get as many drives as we could to weaken their defense.”
Pollack was not the only one who benefited from the team’s ability to get penetration, as Micah Coffey (12 points) shot 4-of-7 from beyond the arc a day after he buried six three-pointers in the team’s loss to Larkin. Coffey led the team with 19.8 points per game during the tournament.
Mike Carlson added 13 points off the bench for Batavia, while Rueffer scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Eddie Davis had eight points and eight rebounds off the bench for Centennial.