Boys Basketball: Benet too strong for Rich East
By Blake Baumgartner For Sun-Times Media February 11, 2014 10:56PM
Updated: February 11, 2014 10:56PM
Sometimes, it’s just as easy as feeding the beast.
With the memory of Saturday’s 13-point loss to Stevenson still on the brain, Benet responded by getting back to basics.
Liberally feeding the ball to Sean O’Mara, Benet led from wire to wire Tuesday night in posting a 79-44 victory over Rich East in Lisle.
The 6-foot-9 O’Mara, a Xavier recruit, set the tone early and often for Benet (15-7) by scoring the Redwings’ first nine points and 17 of their first 20. He finished five points off the career high he set earlier in the season vs. Larkin, ending with 34 points and 11 rebounds.
“(Rich East) pressed us, so they tried to put a lot of pressure on the guards and just gave me an opportunity to kind of do my own work,” said O’Mara, who put together an efficient night in scoring 19 points in the first half. “Like I always say, it’s all credit to the guards. They’re the ones that have to force the court.”
Behind O’Mara’s production inside and getting his teammates good looks on the perimeter, the Redwings led by as many as 29 in the first half. Collin Pellettieri and Josh Yesufu combined for 14 points in the first half and 21 for the game. Pellettieri ended with 13, including three three-pointers.
As good of a night Benet enjoyed offensively, the Redwings defense played as big of a role as well in shutting down Quinton Moore and the rest of the Rockets.
The Rockets didn’t reach double figures until a Moore trey cut the Benet lead to 38-12 with 48 seconds left in the first half.
“We just played very well from start to finish,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said of his team, which led by as many as 39. “We played a complete game on both sides of the floor. I thought our defense was really good. Offensively, I thought we did a pretty good job of handling their pressure. Their pressure is really strong.”
Moore had 19 points for Rich East (14-4), with 14 of those coming in the second half.
“Quinton missed a couple of shots that he a lot of times makes early in the game, but (the Redwings) do such a (good job). They are so disciplined on help-side defense,” Rich East coach George Leonard said. “So when (Moore) was able to kind of get into the lane and beat guys usually, there was a guy waiting for him every time. Again, all the credit goes to Benet and the job that they did.”