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Batavia shuts down HF-L

The saying is that defense wins championships, and if that’s true, Batavia could be raising another sectional trophy next Saturday.

The Blue Devils’ defense was in full lockdown as they defeated Honeoye Falls-Lima, 56-37 in Class A2 action.

Batavia got off to a fast start offensively and defensively, as Justice Fagan scored the first seven points of the game as part of a 14-0 run to open the game. In fact, the Blue Devils held HF-L without a point until Evan Quackenbush knocked down a free throw with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.

“We had almost ten days to prepare for them,” Batavia Head Coach Buddy Brasky said. “We stressed our man-to-man defense all week. We saw, scouted them well, and we were pretty familiar with some of their sets. I thought we played great defensively.”

Quackenbush would score five more quick points to cut the lead to eight to end the opening frame.
Batavia would get back to their stifling defense at the start of the second quarter though, holding the Cougars to just 11 points in the first half.

“We got off to that good start, but then we struggled scoring,” Brasky said. “But, I preach all year that when the shots aren’t falling, your defense keeps you in it.”

One player that did not struggle in the second quarter or throughout the game, was sophomore forward Malachi Chenault. He scored eight of his 18 points in the frame to propel the Blue Devils to a 24-11 halftime lead. He also would add nine rebounds for the game, as Batavia dominated the glass 34-16.

“Malachi had a monster game,” Brasky said. “We’ve been waiting for a game like that from Malachi. If he can play like that then we will be a tough team to beat.”

The third quarter saw a familiar face get hot, as Jeff Redband picked up the scoring load coming out of halftime. The junior forward scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter as Batavia extended their lead to 39-23 heading into the fourth.

Until the final quarter, the Blue Devils had not allowed a three-point field goal the entire night.

Finally, HF-L was able to break through, knocking down four from beyond the arc.
The lead was cut to nine with just 3:53 to play, but every time the Cougars made a push, Batavia had an answer.

Justice Fagan countered with his own three-pointer on one occasion and Redband knocked in another basket to extend the lead.

In fact, only three Blue Devils found the scoring column, but Redband (20), Fagan (18) and Chenault (18) accounted for 56 points.

“We’d like to have more, but all year long that’s kind of what the deal is,” Brasky said. “We’d like to have more, but we’ll do whatever it takes to win. We’re trying to play really good defense. We try to get the ball to our go-to scorers, have our role players play their roles, but as long as we win we’re fine with it.”

Redband also added 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Fagan pitched in five rebounds.
Quackenburg finished with 10 points and six rebounds for HF-L (7-12).

Batavia (13-5) will play second-seeded Newark (17-2) on Tuesday at the Blue Cross Arena. Tip-off will be at 7:15 p.m.

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