Benet Academy girls basketball clinches its second straight trip to State. The Redwings took on the Edwardsville Tigers and these teams are no strangers, in fact, they met in the same Super Sectional in 2015 with Benet Academy taking the 61-50 win, ultimately leading to its first State Title in girls basketball.
The Redwings started the game on a 7-2 run, but the Tigers came roaring back with a 15-2 run of their own ending the first quarter up 17-11. In the final seconds of the first, freshman Lauren Stack knocked down a jumper to close the gap to six. A quick bucket in the second brought Benet within four, but it struggled to get closer than five throughout most of the second quarter, but entered the half down just 27-26.
In the third, the Redwing shooters went cold allowing the Tigers to pull away and enter the fourth quarter up by seven points. At the start of the fourth, Kendal Schramek knocked down a free throw, before hitting another basket and trapping a Tiger in the corner forcing a timeout and giving the Redwings some momentum.
Kathleen Doyle continued to impress in the fourth dishing out an assist to Katie Jaseckas to tie it at 43. The teams exchanged points the rest of the quarter before entering a 51-51 stalemate in the final minute. In what coach Joe Kilbride called the play of the game, Doyle left a shot short but Elise Stout forced a jump ball with Edwardsville’s Criste’on Waters. With the possession arrow favoring the Wings, they got another chance at a game winner.
Second time was the charm for Doyle as she connected on the game winning bucket in the final seconds sending Benet Academy to State for the second straight year! Doyle led the Redwings with 25 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Stout pitched in 11, and Jaseckas had 8.
While Edwardsville saw its season end, the Tigers still won 30 games for the eighth time in nine years and will return four of their five starters next season including junior captain Makenzie Silvy and Criste’on Waters who led the Tigers with 19 points.
Next up, Benet Academy will take on Trinity in the State Semifinals on Friday. The outcome of that game will determine if the Redwings play for the State Championship, or third place game on Saturday, March 5.
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