Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Thursday, December 28, 2017 | BataviasBest.org
The 2017-2018 Batavia Lions Club Boys Basketball Tournament kicked off last night at Genesee Community College, as Notre Dame, and Batavia each earned victories in Round 1 – and are now headed back to the Finals for the second-straight year.
In game one last night, Notre Dame took down Elba by a final score of 73-66 behind a strong performance from Irish senior guard Ryan Moffat. Dropping 26 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and chipping in 5 assists, Moffat paced the Irish offense throughout the night and vaulted his team into the Title game.
🏀At the end of the first, Elba led Notre Dame 17-16.
— Batavia’s Best HS (@BataviasBestHS) December 27, 2017
Complimenting his performance was another ND senior standout, Nico Zambito, who added 17 points, and 8 rebounds.
This dynamic duo has been the driving force for the Irish throughout each of the past two seasons, and if they are to finish the holiday season with a win in the championship game, it will be Moffat and Zambito leading the way.
For Elba in the loss last night, Jon Boyce scored a team-high 20 points, while Collin O’Halloran chipped in 16 points, while leading scorer Colton Dillon was held to just 14 points.
The game began in favor of Notre Dame, but by the time halftime came, Elba was out in front by a point thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the second quarter. During the third, the game continued to go back-and-forth, until late in the period when Notre Dame started to seize control. In the fourth, the Irish pulled away, and won the game by the seven-point margin.
Next up for the Lancers will be Albion in the consolation game tomorrow night at 6:30 pm.
In game two on Wednesday, Batavia put a beating on Albion, advancing to the Finals with an 84-58 victory. Leading the Blue Devils in the win was Mason McFollins, who scored 31 points, including 7 three-pointers.
Since returning to the team a week ago, and playing in just two games to date, Mason has scored 51 points, and made 13 three-pointers. This is all after the departure of Batavia’s former leading-scorer, who left the team just before McFollins’ return to the lineup. The timing for the junior guard’s emergence could not have come at a better time for the Blue Devils.
In compliment, Steve Gilebarto has also played a major role in Batavia’s success as of late, as the senior guard followed up a 24-point performance vs Greece Olympia this past Friday, with a 13-point effort last night vs the Purple Eagles.
🏀Batavia vs Albion is underway.
— Batavia’s Best HS (@BataviasBestHS) December 28, 2017
Aside from McFollins and Gilebarto, in the background for Batavia has been last year’s second-leading scorer Antwan Odom – who dropped 12 points on Wednesday evening. Odom has had a turbulent season offensively, and has yet to truly bust out with a big performance for his team. As the Devils prepare for Notre Dame in the Finals, they’re hoping a breakthrough effort from their junior forward is in store tomorrow night.
Last year, it was the Blue Devils rolling over the undermanned Irish in the Title game, but this season I expect a much more competitive ballgame.
I’m truly looking forward to it. Stay tuned for a Finals Preview – coming tomorrow.
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