Girls Basketball: Christen Prasse propels Benet to upset of GenevaGeneva High School's Ashley Santos (33), and Sami Pawlak (31) struggle to grab a rebound against Benet Academy on Friday December 16, 2011 at the Holiday Tournament at Benet Academy in Lisle. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 17, 2011 12:04AM
Christen Prasse is helping to make this a merry Christmas tournament for the Benet girls basketball team.
For the second straight night, Prasse — the team’s junior point guard — took charge and led the host Redwings to an upset victory in group play at the Naperville North-Benet Holiday Tournament.
Prasse scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Redwings (9-4) to a 65-55 win over previously undefeated Geneva after knocking Wheaton Warrenville South from the unbeaten ranks the night before.
“I really felt it today,” said Prasse, whose stat line also included six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. “My shot was falling and I kept shooting it. We’re showing we can play with and beat these great teams. And we’re getting better and better every game.”
“She had an outstanding game,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “She’s anticipating well and she’s turning into the kind of point guard we’ve never imagined.”
Prasse got the Redwings going in the first quarter by scoring 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers that helped build an 18-9 lead.
In the second quarter with a lead that grew to 20-9, Paul had the chance to rest some of his regulars because he wanted them to be fresh at the end of the game.
Geneva (10-1) cut it to 22-18, but Sidney Prasse — who finished with 10 points — hit a big three-pointer to give Benet a little cushion that allowed the Redwings to take a 28-23 lead into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, Vikings high scorer Ashley Santos scored eight of her team-high 20 points as Geneva battled back and took the lead several times.
But, at the end of the period after another big three-pointer by Sidney Prasse, a pair of free throws by Christen Prasse and a putback by Nicole Valentine, it was the Redwings on top 42-39.
And, in the final period, the still-fresh Redwings blew the game open with a 17-6 run that made the score 59-45. Christen Prasse had eight points during that stretch.
“Christen makes us dangerous,” said Paul. “Because she can penetrate and that leaves Sid and Madeline (Eilers) sitting at the arc.”
For the second straight night, Paul lauded Nicole and Taylor Valentine and Nicole Sandor for their defensive work as they stuck with the dangerous Santos, one of the premier players in the state.
Nicole Valentine also chipped in with 15 points for the Redwings.
For the Vikings, Sami Pawlak had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
“They’re a good team, we knew that coming in,” Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. “They were ready to play us tonight. We wanted to play fast and they did a good job of taking us out of that.”
“We’ve stepped up,” Paul said. “And hopefully we can continue to do that.”