Mercy's size, outside shooting too much for Batavia girls to overcome in 62-42 defeat
Batavia Coach Marty Hein knew that it would be a “tall order” for his Lady Blue Devils girls’ basketball team to defeat Our Lady of Mercy on Thursday night, considering that the visitors’ frontline featured 6-foot-5 senior center Katie Whitaker and 6-foot sophomore Audrey Hintz.
While the height disadvantage inside was too much for Batavia to overcome, the home team battled the Class AA Lady Monarchs the entire way in a 62-42 loss.
The Lady Devils, 7-4, close out their regular season Saturday afternoon before preparing to host a Section V Class B1 Tournament game on Tuesday night against an opponent to be determined.
Hein said he scheduled the nonleague game against Mercy, now 8-3, in anticipation of possibly facing Dansville, which is led by 6-foot-2 Arayana Young (16 points per game), in the sectionals.
“When we found out on January 19th that the season would be happening and that our first practice would be February 1st, it didn’t give us much time to schedule games,” Hein said. “That’s when we set up the game with Mercy with the idea we may face Dansville, who also has a ‘big.’ ”
As it turned out, Batavia will not face Dansville this season as the Lady Mustangs are in Class B2.
In last night’s game, Whitaker scored 20 points – all of them on layups after taking high-arcing passes from her teammates or from put backs after she grabbed an offensive rebound.
The Lady Devils, with no player over 5-10, made it tough on her, however, with double- and triple-teaming, and drew a couple offensive fouls in the process. They also employed a full court press most of the game in an attempt to slow down the Lady Monarchs.
Mercy led 14-8 after the first quarter before expanding its lead by outscoring Batavia 22-10 in the second quarter. Whitaker scored six points in the period, but junior guard Libby McDonough really hurt the Lady Devils by scoring 11 of her 19 points in the quarter, including two three-point shots.
Mackenzie Reigle scored nine of her 19 points for Batavia in the second quarter.
A pair of three-point shots by Bryn Wormley and a free throw by Reigle pulled Batavia within 36-25 early in the third quarter. Mercy stretched the lead to 16 when McDonough sank another three-pointer – and was fouled on the shot -- and Whitaker rebounded McDonough’s missed free throw for a layup. Whitaker finished with 15 rebounds.
Reigle and Wormley provided all of Batavia’s 18 points in the quarter – scoring nine each – as the Lady Devils cut the deficit to 50-36.
Reigle’s steal and layup to start the fourth quarter pulled Batavia within 12 before Whitaker sank three shots from close range around a pair of free throws by Hintz to seal the outcome.
For the game, Batavia made just 14 of 48 shots from the field.
Wormley finished with 15 points and now needs 31 more to join Reigle as a 1,000-point scorer for her varsity career. She’ll have a chance to add to her total when the Lady Devils visit Greece Odyssey for a 2:15 p.m. game Saturday.