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Batavia's Mike Rueffer defends Oswego's Miles Simelton during a 4A regional game in Batavia on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Charging out of the gates at the Class 4A Batavia Regional Wednesday night, No. 6 Oswego routed the host Bulldogs 91-51 in a semifinal matchup.
Playing stifling defense, the Panthers forced nine first-quarter Bulldog turnovers, and also scorched the nets. Oswego jumped out to a 14-0 lead and the rout was on early.
Elliott McGaughy and Miles Simelton netted all 14 points in the first five minutes while the Bulldogs misfired on their first six shots and turned the ball over six times. Simelton collected two steals in a 30 second span and fed McGaughy for a pair of three-pointers while scoring six points himself.
McGaughy buried four of five long balls in the opening quarter when he tallied 14 points. He finished with a game-high 28 points. Simelton notched 19 points in the first half and ended with 22 points after three quarters.
“We played good on the ball [defense] and I think that’s what created the turnovers,” McGaughy said. “We denied the back side and had second help. As a team we played really good defense.”
“I felt like we made the statement we needed to make,” said Oswego coach Kevin Schnable. “We set the tone with the 14-0 start, grabbed momentum from the start and carried it on to the finish. We played a complete game at both ends.”
Batavia finally removed the goose egg at the 3:04 mark of the first quarter when Zach Strittmatter scored in the lane, but the Panthers were on fire. Canning 16-of-28 from the field, including 10-of-16 from beyond the arc, the Panthers (27-2) amassed a 51-23 halftime margin. Simelton scored 13 in the second stanza when he hit three treys.
“This team has been together since sixth, seventh grade,” McGaughy said. “We’ve known each other for a long time, so our team chemistry is there and has been for a while. We were hot from the arc, and it all started with Miles pushing the ball.”
McGaughy added ten points in the third frame when he hit five of six attempts. The Panthers, who set a school record with their 27th win, closed the frame with a 16-3 burst before all five starters watched the fourth frame from the bench.
“Jamal (Richardson) was a warrior on the point guard, Miles set the tone raising the pace, our guys sprinted to their spots and Elliott went off in the first half,” Schnable explained. “We shot the ball extremely well, and the reason is that we shared the ball well.”
Oswego connected on 33-of-57 from the field and 14-of-27 from beyond the arc. Batavia hit 18-of-48 from the floor, including 4-of-19 from three-point land.