Girls Basketball: Lockport stifled by Benet
By Matt Le Cren For Sun-Times Media January 4, 2014 6:40PM
Lockport's Destiny Hollins (3) dribbles along the base line as Benet Academy's Jenna Martin (5) defends. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 6, 2014 6:40AM
Defensive consistency has been a problem lately for Benet, and it was again on Saturday when the Redwings gave up 19 points in the first quarter to host Lockport.
But Benet buckled down when it had to, using great defense and opportunistic offense to pull out a 59-45 victory.
“I think we need more consistency on defense and we’re working on that in practice, so we’ll get there,” Benet point guard Kathleen Doyle said. “We have it in spurts. We just need to put it together for a whole game.”
The Redwings (11-6) trailed 26-25 after a layup by Lockport’s Naomi Mayes at the 3:53 mark of the second quarter. But the Porters (6-5) mustered only eight points over the next 14 minutes, 11 seconds.
Benet scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 33-26 lead at the break. The hosts opened the third quarter with an 8-3 run, only to see the Redwings retaliate with an 18-0 run over the next six minutes. That gave Benet a 54-34 cushion with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter.
“We tightened it up,” Benet coach Peter Paul said. “They had a couple people that were hurting us really, really bad and I thought we adjusted. We are very happy with the win.”
Mayes and freshman forward Laurel Kucharski got plenty of open looks in the first half but combined for just seven points after the intermission.
“We took off the press for a little bit and then we just started denying (Mayes), trying to get more pressure on them to take them out of their rhythm,” Doyle said.
The Redwings also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Porters 38-17 and limiting them to one shot on all but two possessions in the second half.
“I was really happy with how we played,” Benet guard Emily Eshoo said. “Throughout the (holiday) break we practiced really hard and we focused a lot on defense, mainly because that was pretty much our problem spot and that was what would help us in the future to win the really important games.
“I think it really helped because we picked it up after halftime. We realized that help defense and just being really aggressive and rebounding and all that (was important). And once that came together it helped us win the game.”
Eshoo scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the first half, while Doyle had 10 of her 12 before the intermission. Eshoo sank three three-pointers and finished 9-of-12 from the free-throw line.
“I think with me driving and (drawing) all those fouls and getting the free throws, that really helped me start up my game,” Eshoo said. “And once I got my shot going, the shots started falling and it was a good game.”
Emily Schramek tallied nine of her 12 points in the second half. She and fellow forward Jenna Martin both had nine rebounds, while Doyle grabbed six boards for the Redwings.
Kucharski led Lockport with 12 points. Mayes added nine points and five steals, while Kianna Campbell had seven points.