Girls Basketball: Benet’s late play downs York
Updated: December 17, 2011 10:56PM
After the whirlwind week Benet has had, a little letdown was to be expected.
Playing their third game in three days, the Redwings struggled early against York on Saturday on the final night of pool play at the Benet/Naperville North Holiday Tournament, trailing by five points in the first quarter and by two late in the second half.
But Benet quickly righted the ship and sailed to a 60-37 victory to clinch the championship of its pool. The Redwings (10-4), who have won six straight, will play in the tournament semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Everyone else had beaten them so we weren’t underestimating them, but we came out a little slow,” Benet point guard Christen Prasse said. “But as the game went on we came back and we started working as a team and we didn’t let up.”
After outscoring the Dukes (7-7) by an 8-1 margin to end the first half, the Redwings turned up the pressure defensively in the second half and allowed only four baskets after intermission. Prasse scored six of her game-high 12 points during a 12-0 third quarter run that boosted the lead to 43-26.
“[The spark] was definitely defense because we came out and they scored a lot in the first half, got a lot of drives and we realized that we needed to force them left to their weak hand, pressure them and try to force turnovers,” Prasse said. “That’s all we did and I guess it worked.”
Sidney Prasse added 10 points and Nicole Valentine and Madeline Eilers had nine points each for Benet, which also received six points from Lauren Malley and Emily Schranek. Valentine added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Alex Harrell paced York, which has lost five consecutive games, with eight points and eight boards.
Benet has been on a roll since beating Fenwick 67-66 on Dec. 10 on a three-pointer at the buzzer by Eilers. It was Benet’s first victory over Fenwick in 14 years. The Redwings followed that up by knocking off previously unbeaten Wheaton Warrenville South and Geneva in tournament play.
Prasse had a career-high 30 points in the win over Geneva, which could face Benet again for the tournament championship next Friday.
“To be honest, that Fenwick game did something to us,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “It set the tone that we were able to beat a very good team and I think we have not stopped since.”
“We kind of came out in the beginning of the season a little shaky, just kind of testing the waters or whatever,” Prasse said. “But then after that Fenwick game we really clicked as a team and since then we’ve been improving every game.”