By Garth Shanklin
Defense may win championships, but it’s hard to win games if you can’t score. The Batavia Bulldogs realized just how hard it is to win without a consistent offense in a 48-38 loss to the New Richmond Lions on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.
Batavia scored in single-digits in three of the four quarters, finally tallying 14 points in the fourth period.
New Richmond started slowly, only scoring 17 first-half points themselves thanks to a lack of made shots, but unlike Batavia, New Richmond’s shots eventually began to fall.
“Sometimes, shots aren’t falling for you, but I felt like they were good looks,” New Richmond head coach Brian McMonigle said. “Whenever you get good looks and they’re not falling, eventually they’re going to start. We have some kids who can shoot the ball and in the second half those shots started falling for us.”
Batavia head coach Aaron Brose praised the Lions’ defense for often interfering in Batavia’s shooting.
“When you shoot as terribly as we shot, you’re not going to beat anybody,” Brose said. “You don’t win games scoring 38 points. Credit to them, they challenged every single one of our shots, we didn’t get anything easy. Every shot, they had a hand in our face and they made it hard. They made sure we didn’t get a whole lot of second and third shots, they did a good job defensively.”
That was a change of pace for the Lions from their last game, in which the team’s defense struggled, according to McMonigle.
“We had a rough game on Tuesday where we had a lot of meltdowns, and that was our emphasis on Wednesday and Thursday, locking down the ball and taking care of business defensively,” McMonigle said.
Brose said he was happy with the Batavia defense but as the game went on the team seemed to slip back into some bad habits.
“I was happy with our defense,” Brose said. “We did a good job getting out on ball screens and we did a good job communicating early on. Late we seemed to over play some things and we got beat in some areas where we shouldn’t have, but overall I thought we did a good job of defending the ball screens and making things difficult on them.”
Batavia’s Ryan Storer and New Richmond’s Jonathan Lang each scored 15 points, but in the end it was New Richmond’s Herwens Horgan who was awarded game Mercy Health MVP.
“As a coaching staff, we felt that he was the leader of the team defensively, which led to a lot of offensive possessions for us,” McMonigle said. “He hit a couple big shots for us, he took care of the ball tonight. We just felt that he was the guy that led us defensively.”
Horgan had 10 points and six rebounds for the Lions. Nate Watson added seven points and seven boards for Batavia, who had a short turnaround. The Bulldogs traveled to Hillsboro on Saturday, Dec. 9 and came away with a 61-56 win thanks in large part to 16 points and nine rebounds by Nate Watson.