Girls Basketball: Sidney Prasse, Benet bounce Plainfield CentralBenet Academey's #21 Sidney Prasse drives to the basket in front of Plainfield Central's #24 Emily Obradovich held at Lockport girls basketball Regional and Benet won 71-34 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2012 9:06PM
The Benet girls basketball team was a heavy favorite going into Tuesday’s Lockport Regional semifinal match against Plainfield Central.
Still, the Redwings had something to prove after dropping their last two decisions of the regular season, and they got their postseason off to a flying start with a 71-34 win over the Wildcats.
“We did not play Benet basketball in those last two games,” said the Redwings Nicole Valentine, who finished with 15 points. “We had to come out of that slump and we decided that tonight we needed to come out super strong in the first quarter, get a big lead and then settle down.”
The Redwings (23-6) did exactly that as Valentine scored seven and Sidney Prasse hit a pair of three-pointers to help get them off to a 22-6 lead at the end of the period.
“We came out with determination,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “We were confident and they couldn’t stick with us. It helped that our shots were falling at the very beginning.”
Benet increased the lead to 37-15 at the half and then 53-21 after three quarters.
“When we struggle we work as five separate fingers instead of combining to make a fist,” Valentine said. “Tonight we played as a fist. We passed the ball around and got the best shots possible. We did everything well.”
Sidney Prasse finished with 16 points and Christen Prasse added 11.
The Benet reserves played major minutes and that proved to be no relief for the Wildcats (13-14) because backups such as Jamie Rup, Emily Schramek, Eden Olson, Madeline Hlavin and Morgan Thomalla continued playing Benet basketball.
“We have a deep team and every player is important,” Valentine said.
“All year long our bench helped us,” Paul said. “And they showed tonight they’ll help us down the road.’’
Brigid Hanley, who led the Wildcats with 12 points, became Plainfield Central’s all-time leading scorer Tuesday after hitting a school-record 36 points Monday in the first-round win over Lockport.
“We knew Benet was a great team,” Plainfield Central Coach Mark Krusz said. “They have some great athletes and great basketball players. They’re well-rounded and they never panic. But we played our hearts out in our last game and I couldn’t be more proud of my team for what they did this year. “