Girls Basketball: Surprise! Providence beats Benet
Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver couldn’t remember the last time her team defeated Benet but this much is certain: the Celtics have never won the Naperville Central Tip-Off Tournament.
That could change Saturday after Providence upset Benet 73-56 on Friday to create four possible scenarios.
Benet, Providence and Metea Valley, which edged North Chicago 37-32, all have a shot at the title. Providence can win if it beats North Chicago and Benet beats Metea Valley.
That puts the Celtics (4-1) in the ironic position of having to root for Benet, but the only thing that mattered Friday was knocking off Benet.
“It means a lot,” Providence forward Mary Fashingbauer said. “We’ve got some momentum going for us now. We’ve been working hard to beat whoever we can, so this is just good to have under our belt now.”
Fashingbauer, a 6-0 junior, was instrumental in orchestrating the upset of Benet as she scored a career-high 23 points to go with six rebounds. She made her last nine shots from the floor, including a three-pointer, and 10 of 13 overall.
“It was an up-tempo game, so a couple shots fell and it all worked out well,” Fashingbauer said.
It was more than a couple of shots. The Celtics jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never trailed. They moved the ball well and shredded Benet’s defense was regularity, hitting 15 of 25 shots in the first half and 24 of 43 overall while sinking 20 of 27 free-throw attempts.
Fashingbauer scored nine points during the decisive second quarter that saw Providence outscore the Redwings 25-13 to take a 41-24 lead.
“We work hard every day in practice and we work on getting through screens and stuff like that, which Benet does a lot of,” Fashingbauer said. “We’ve been working on our offense, moving the ball, looking up the floor. I think it all came together today perfectly.”
But Benet (4-1) did not go quietly. Emily Eshoo and Emily Schramek both sank a pair of three-pointers during a furious rally that saw the Redwings pull within 50-45 following a three-point play by Grace Bumpus with 51 seconds left in the third quarter.
Alyssa Jurges, who finished with 20 points, answered with a trey which started a 10-0 run by the Celtics, who scored 19 of the next 23 points.
“Obviously we have nothing but respect for Benet,” Copenhaver said. “They beat us so many millions of times, but we talked about how they were going to get a run on us and not to panic, keep your composure and at some point you have to answer, and I thought the kids stepped up and they answered.”
Fashingbauer wasn’t surprised that Benet made it difficult.
“We definitely knew they were going to come out hard, no doubt,” she said. “So I think after we got the timeout [late in the third quarter] we calmed ourselves down and just told ourselves that we’ve got to get down on ‘D’ and play hard.”
Marybeth Galick and Emily Bowles each scored seven points for the Celtics, while Maeve Garvey added six points and three assists.
Eshoo scored 19 points and Schramek had 15 points, including four treys, to pace Benet, which shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half.
“We weren’t ready to play,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “But give [the Celtics] credit. They shot the ball very well, they defended us, we didn’t particularly shoot the ball well in the first half and defensively we’ve got a ways to go.”