Senior point guard Mackenzie Reigle recalls the first basket that she ever made – a three-point shot after being called up late in the season as a seventh-grader. From that point on, she knew what she wanted to achieve as a Batavia High varsity girls’ basketball player.
“I remember being really nervous, but it was super exciting, my first point was a ‘3’ right on the side and I followed it up with a block on the other end. It was so exciting and I’ve always wanted to score 1,000 points since then,” Reigle said tonight after reaching that goal in the Lady Blue Devils’ 55-35 victory over visiting Greece Olympia in Monroe County League Division IV action.
Needing just one point to hit the milestone, Reigle misfired on her first two shots before taking a pass from Kennedy Kolb and sinking an 18-foot baseline jumper at the 5:07 mark of the first quarter. That gave the Lady Devils their first points – they trailed 5-2 at that point – and prompted the referees to call a timeout for her to pose with Coach Marty Hein at center court as fans and players from both teams applauded her accomplishment.
When play resumed, Batavia scored only four more points the rest of the period, missing 11 of 14 shots from the field, and trailed Olympia by a 9-6 score.
Olympia was up 14-9 with five minutes left in the second quarter when Reigle drove to the basket for a layup and Tess Barone scored on consecutive trips to give Batavia its first lead at 15-14.
The home team went on to score 10 more points – completing a 16-0 burst – as Reigle had a three-pointer and layup, Barone converted a pass from Reigle for a score and Bryn Wormley sank a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 25-14 halftime advantage.
Batavia stretched the lead to 28-14 on a three-point shot by Bella Houseknecht but Olympia, behind Taylor Jung’s 12 points, pulled with 10 at 37-27 heading into the final period.
Then Reigle took over -- sinking four free throws after getting fouled on drives to the hoop, converting a steal into a layup and going to her right hand (she is left-handed) to score from 10 feet out.
She then assisted on Barone’s hoop before Haylee Thornley scored inside to give Batavia a 49-33 lead with three minutes to play.
Reigle scored 27 points to raise her per game average to 17.9 this season and also had six assists, 11 rebounds, eight steals and two blocks.
A force on the offensive end, the 5-foot-7 Reigle is equally impressive on defense with her ability to steal the ball from the opposing point guard, establish position on the boards and block shots.
“I just try to read the defenses,” she said. “I know that with this team (Greece Olympia) a lot of them were weaker left-handed players so I took away their right side and it worked tonight.”
After the game, Hein emphasized Reigle’s work ethic and determination.
“When you’re with somebody as long as I have been with Kenzie, it makes it so special,” he said. “I’ve seen her sweat and cry and bleed through this whole endeavor and she wants it so badly. She works so hard; she’s always in the gym. She so much deserves this, and I’m really happy for her.”
Reigle joins Tiara Filbert (2015), Madison McCulley (2016) and former teammate Ryann Stefaniak (2018) as the only Batavia girls' basketball players to score 1,000 points in their varsity careers.
As far as the team is concerned, Hein said the girls were pressing at the beginning of the year – Batavia started 0-3 – but have learned to run the offense and trust each other since then to put together a seven-game winning streak.
“If losing those first three games of the season puts (us) in a position where we’re at now, then they were a really good three losses … as we’ve grown from there. The belief is there that if we’re going to do this (win a sectional title), it’s going to be all nine of us.”
Batavia has defeated Olympia three times this season and the margin was 20 points each time, including a 55-35 win on Feb. 17.
The Lady Devils host Our Lady of Mercy at 8 p.m. Thursday and close out the regular season at Greece Odyssey for a 2:15 p.m. game on Saturday.
The Section V Class B1 Tournament begins on Tuesday night, with Batavia expecting to host the first-round game at 7 o’clock. It is possible that Batavia, currently the third seed, will face Olympia, currently the sixth seed, for a fourth time.
Reigle said she has one more goal, and that’s to win a sectional title – something that Batavia has come close to in her varsity years.
“We’re hoping that it is this year … but we have to stay strong,” she said.
Photos by Steve Ognibene.
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Photos, from top to bottom: Batavia team celebrates Mackenzie Reigle's accomplishment following the win over Greece Olympia; the shot that put Reigle at 1,001 points early in the first quarter; Bryn Wormley launches a three-point shot; Tess Barone gets inside position; Reigle drives to the hoop; Kennedy Kolb shoots over a Lady Spartan defender. Photos by Steve Ognibene.