The normally stingy Batavia Blue Devils defense got scorched for 62 points earlier this week by Pittsford-Mendon, so over the past couple of days, Head Coach Buddy Braskey has drilled his team on defensive fundamentals.
The Brighton Barons paid the price Friday night.
Coming off a 58-point game against Greece-Odyssey, the Barons found it much harder to score against the Blue Devils.
In fact, they were held scoreless for the first six minutes of the game and managed only two points in the first quarter.
By the end of the game, Brighton was only 8 for 51 from the field (a 16 percent field goal percentage) and lost 47-27.
"I thought against Pittsford-Mendon on Tuesday, our defense really wasn't up to par," Braskey said. "We made a lot of fundamental mistakes with our principles. We showed it to them on field, worked on it in practice, and I thought today, we took what we learned in practice and transferred it to the game."
Right from the tip-off, Batavia employed a press to pressure ball handlers, create turnovers and limit shot attempts.
Even when Brighton appeared to get open looks, the shots weren't falling, and Brasky said that even with those seemingly open shots, looks can be deceiving.
"I think we rushed them," Brasky said. "We never let them get comfortable. ... Even when they were getting open shots, they really never could get their feet set because we were closing out really hard on their shooters."
With only 47 points, though, Batavia still needs to find away to get some scoring help for senior standout Jeff Redband.
Redband scored 21 points Friday, coming off a 32-point performance Tuesday.
In both games, only Malachi Chenault got into double-digits scoring, with 10 points each night.
None of the guards have yet stepped up and shouldered some of the load.
"It's not happening yet (getting help for Redband)," Brasky said. "We're searching. (Jerrett) Laskett, (Tee Sean), Ayala, (Alex) Canty are three guys that are all good shooters, but they haven't found their rhythm yet. Malachi is contributing inside, but we've got to find some more scoring from the guard position, for sure."
Brasky is pleased with the progress Chenault is making under the boards.
"We're working hard with him to get the ball and go strong and not hesitate," Brasky said. "Malachi tends to think when he gets the ball. We're trying to get him to get the ball, make a quicker decision and just go strong. I thought he did a much better job of that tonight."
It would also help Blue Devils scoring to take better care of the ball. Batavia turned the ball over 23 times against Pittsford-Mendon and 19 times last night. Brasky said that number needs to get down to eight or nine.
Overall, Brasky said his team is responding well in practice, working hard and getting better and better.
Next up, Bishop-Timon, a private school in Section 6, at home Tuesday. Game time is 7:45 p.m.
Top photo: Greg Mruzcek.
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