Batavia’s ‘one game at a time’ approach gets Lady Bulldogs off to good start

By Chris Chaney
Sun staff

The Batavia Lady Bulldogs jumped quickly out of the gate, winning their first two games of the young 2012-13 season and putting them on the right path if they want to improve their standing from a year ago in the Southern Buckeye Conference’s National Division.

Beginning the season down the road at Williamsburg, Batavia took their first win of the year with a 58-50 victory over the defending league runners-up. Two days later on Dec. 1, the Bulldogs doubled their win total with a 53-50 win over Deer Park.

“(The game against Williamsburg) was a huge win for us,” head coach Beth Wolfer said. “We played really well as a team. We’ve been working on a new transition offense that’s kind of new for us. A lot of different people were scoring.”

Leading the way for the Lady Bulldogs over the first few games were a trio of players that Wolfer is expecting big things from throughout the season, headed up by sophomore Samantha McElfresh.

“She’s a returning guard,” Wolfer said. “Last year she was battling a knee injury and she missed eight games and was still our leading scorer.”

A pair of seniors who Wolfer is expecting to play a big role, McKenna Fraley and Katelynn Everhart, will help out McElfresh.

“(Fraley) is a senior forward who led us in steals and rebounds (last year),” Wolfer said. “She made Second Team All-League last year, along with Sam who was First Team. Those two should be two of our key players.”

Everhart, who led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring in two of the first three games, will also have a big impact this season.

“She’s been playing a post for us and had 14 against Williamsburg,” Wolfer said.

The Lady Bulldogs took a step backward on Monday, Dec. 3 as they were blown out by Fayetteville-Perry, but they have the quality of players to keep that victory from getting to them.

Along with the Big Three, sophomores Alister Nickley and Haley Kilgore, juniors Erin O’Brien, Jordan Foster and senior Jessica Bauer have contributed to start out the season.

The Lady Bulldogs are in the midst of a ramped-up schedule in which they will have played five games in eight days by the time their Dec. 6 showdown with undefeated Felicity-Franklin takes place.

Opening the season with so many games in such a short amount of time, Wolfer said the team is doing their best to focus only on one game at a time, not letting themselves look too far ahead.

“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Wolfer said. “Of course, it’s easy to look ahead, but we’re trying to concentrate on one game at a time. We plan on going out and giving everything we have to the other games.

“We have a very tough week with a lot of games and I hope we can keep everyone healthy.”

With their health in tact, Wolfer is expecting the team to improve upon last year’s standing and build their program by winning more games.

“I have a new assistant coach and he is helping me at the games and trying to teach the girls X’s and O’s and more basketball knowledge, so our goals are to win more games and increase our basketball knowledge in general.”

That knowledge will be tested as the Lady Bulldogs faced Georgetown on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and Felicity on Dec. 6 before having a week off.