Boys Hoops Final: Batavia 52, Wilmington 51


By Matt Sexton - WNJ Sports Writer



WILMINGTON — Batavia kept its SBC American Division title hopes alive Tuesday night with a furious come-from-behind 52-51 win over Wilmington at Fred Summers Court.

The two teams traded threes in a wild sequence late in the fourth on senior night at WHS.

After Kellen Baltazar scored to put Wilmington up 47-46 with 1:57 left, Batavia’s Max Applegate drained a three to put the Bulldogs up by two with 1:31 left.

Collin Barker answered for Wilmington, burying a three with 1:04 left to put Wilmington back in front, 50-49.

On Batavia’s next possession, Shane Kongo knocked down what proved to be the game-winning three. Batavia led 52-50 with 44 seconds left.

Baltazar was fouled for Wilmington and made one of two from the line to pull the Hurricane within one with 16.7 left. After a Batavia timeout, Mason Weisbrodt was fouled and went to the line for the Bulldogs.

Weisbrodt missed the front end of the one-and-one, and then committed his fifth foul. However, Luke Blessing missed the front end for Wilmington at the other end with 10.1 left. Kongo was fouled with 7.4 left.

Kongo missed both free throws, and Wilmington grabbed the rebound. Cole Bernhardt got to within 30 feet for a potential game-winning shot, but it missed and Batavia survived.

“We had a lot of time to prepare for them,” WHS head coach Jermaine Isaac said. “We knew where they wanted the ball at, and we wanted to take it away. Their guys made some big shots.”

Max Applegate led Batavia (13-5 overall, 6-2 SBC American) with 14 points. Kongo finished with 12.

Weisbrodt, who leads the SBC in scoring at 23.6 points per game, had just 10 points when he fouled out. Wilmington used a zone defense to pack the middle and make life difficult for the talented 6-foot-9-inch senior.

“We had to adapt,” Isaac said. “We’re primarily a pressure-man team. But we want to give our kids a chance. Mason’s a heck of a ballplayer. If he catches the ball on the low block, it’s going in. We wanted to make their other guys beat us.”

Batavia, which trailed by halftime by 13, outscored Wilmington 18-2 to open the second half.

Barker led Wilmington (8-9, 2-7) with 14 points. Blessing finished with 13 while Bernhardt had 11. After shooting 67 percent from the floor in the first half, Wilmington made just one of its first 16 shots in the second half.

Seniors Bernhardt, Barker, Baltazar and Avery Warix were honored with their families before the game. Isaac said his team wants to finish the season strong note team’s seniors.

“We want to send our seniors out on the right note,” Isaac said. “These kids have had it tough with three head coaches in the last four years. Three different systems, three different personalities and three different sets of expectations. That’s really hard. But our kids have bought in, and that’s because of our seniors.

“Tonight was a special night. Unfortunately, the storybook ending that we wanted didn’t work out.”

SUMMARY

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022

At Fred Summers Court

Batavia 52, Wilmington 51

B…14.9.13.16…52

W…18.18.2.13…51

(52) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Shane Kongo 4-2-2-12, Kellen Epps 3-0-0-6, Max Applegate 5-4-0-14, Kyler Myers 1-0-1-3, Robert Lisk 0-0-1-1, Mason Weisbrodt 5-0-0-10, Josh Berger 2-0-2-6. TOTALS 20-6-6-52.

(51) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Luke Blessing 4-2-3-13, Mikey Brown Jr. 2-0-1-5, Kellen Baltazar 2-0-1-5, Cole Bernhardt 3-1-4-11, Collin Barker 4-1-5-14, Shane Griffith 1-1-0-3. TOTALS 16-5-14-51.

FIELD GOALS: B 20/48 (Weisbrodt 5/8, Applegate 5/13, Kongo 4/6); W 16/39 (Blessing 4/9, Barker 4/11)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 6/20 (Applegate 4/8); W 5/14 (Blessing 2/3)

FREE THROWS: B 6/16; W 14/19 (Barker 5/6, Bernhardt 4/6, Blessing 3/4)

REBOUNDS: B 39 (Weisbrodt 9, Epps 8, Applegate 4, Myers 4, Lisk 4, Berger 4); W 22 (Bernhardt 5, Baltazar 4, Brown Jr 4)

ASSISTS: B 11 (Myers 6); W 7

STEALS: B 5; W 6

BLOCKED SHOTS: B 2 (Weisbrodt 1, Epps 1); W 6 (Bernhardt 4, Baltazar 2)

TURNOVERS: B 13; W 11

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By Matt Sexton

WNJ Sports Writer