Girls Basketball: Benet wins seventh game in a row
Updated: December 22, 2011 11:01PM
Benet doesn’t need to be at its best to win games.
The Redwings proved that Thursday night, grinding out a 54-38 victory over DeKalb in the semifinals of the Benet/Naperville North Holiday Tournament in Lisle.
The win was the seventh straight for Benet (11-4), which will take on Naperville North in Friday night’s championship game at Benet. Naperville North upset three-time defending tournament champion Geneva 62-56 in the other semifinal.
“Nothing worked as well as we would have liked,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “It was one of those things where we had to grind it out, but give credit to the kids. I think they battled hard and were successful tonight.”
The Redwings never trailed but the taller Barbs (11-3) kept the game close in the first half. The contest was tied 15-15 before Christen Prasse put Benet ahead to stay with two free throws and her sister Sidney followed by scoring her team’s final seven points of the half as the hosts went up 24-18 at the break.
Sidney Prasse tallied 12 of her game-high 16 points in the first half, while Christen Prasse scored nine of her 12 points in the third quarter as Benet extended its cushion to 44-28.
“We’re a very scrappy team,” said Christen Prasse, who missed all five of her shots in the first half before sinking 4 of 6 after intermission. “Sometimes we come out to a sluggish start. Some of us weren’t making our shots and we dug deep and came out with the win.”
Taylor Valentine added eight points for Benet, including two crucial buckets in the third quarter. The first came on a layup seconds after Taylor White’s three-pointer had pulled DeKalb within 26-23. The second was an inside hoop early in a 14-1 run that closed the third quarter.
“I really wanted this game tonight and it just so happened that I had a great pass from my teammate and I wanted to be the motivator,” Valentine said. “I wanted to be the energy of the team. I wanted to get everyone going.”
White had 13 points and Rachel Torres 11 for the Barbs, who made only 5 of 12 free throws while Benet was 11 for 12 from the foul line.
Neither Benet or Naperville North has won this tournament in recent years, so the Redwings are looking forward to the matchup.
“If we win it will be a great reward,” Christen Prasse said. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into it. Both North and us, we have a lot of momentum going into this next game.
“We have a winning streak going and they just had a big upset against Geneva. Hopefully we can come out on top.”
If they do, Valentine knows why.
“We’ve had some tough games this tournament and have come out victorious but that’s just because we have a great team chemistry,” Valentine said. “We’ve just been working really well together.”