All things considered, Benet has fared pretty well without Christen Prasse.
Stopping Victoria Trowbridge was another story.
Naperville Central's 6-foot-2 senior scored 20 points with 9 rebounds, and the No. 13 Redhawks held off the No. 18 Prasse-less Redwings 50-41 in Tuesday action at the Naperville Central/Benet Tip-Off Tournament in Naperville.
"We made a special emphasis on getting the ball into Victoria," Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum said. "I think she came into the game with the fifth-most field goals attempted and I thought, 'We got to change that.' I thought we did a pretty good job of that. To her credit, today was the best she's played so far. She was moving and asking for the ball, and we looked for her."
With Emma Donahue graduated, Trowbridge is assuming the role of the Redhawks' primary post option. It seems to fit her well. Her combination of size and quickness is tough to defend, and she could score at will when she got touches against a Benet team whose tallest player is 5-11.
Trowbridge made 8 of her 9 field goals, her stickback basket giving Naperville Central (4-0) its biggest lead at 37-22 with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
"With Emma gone I feel like I need to up my game," said Trowbridge, who will play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha next year. "My teammates did an amazing job getting me the ball. It's pretty easy if you get a good feed."
Benet (3-1), playing its fourth game with Prasse out with an ankle injury, didn't fold the tent from there.
Sparked by back-to-back baskets by Emily Schramek, the Redwings closed the third quarter on an 11-0 run. A pair of free throws by fellow sophomore Emily Eshoo pulled Benet as close as 38-35 with 5:35 left in the game.
"We pressured them a little bit more in the second half, played a little more Benet basketball," Redwings coach Peter Paul said. "We were a little afraid the first half, gave them too many open looks."
But Trowbridge scored at the other end, then rebounded a missed 3 and laid in a basket to get the margin back to 7. Trowbridge later made a nice athletic save of an errant post pass, feeding Laura Dierking for a basket and 48-41 lead with 28 seconds left.
Paul said Prasse could be back Friday against Metea Valley. He seems to have a nice young nucleus to build around his star senior guard. Eshoo scored 15 points Tuesday, Schramek 6 and freshman point guard Kathleen Doyle -- the kid sister of volleyball star Sheila Doyle -- scored 11.
"We're young and we're growing -- we won our first three games and they probably thought it was going to be that way all the time," Paul said. "This was reality, growing pains. I think we'll be alright down the road. Chrissie will start practicing Wednesday and we're aiming for Friday. She'll settle us down a little bit."
Dierking added 10 points and 7 rebounds and sophomore guard Cierra Stanciel 6 points and 5 steals for Naperville Central. Those two are two reasons why this Redhawks team is a little more versatile, and definitely quicker than recent versions. Jamie Cuny also scored 8 points.
"We have a lot more speed," Nussbaum said. "While we don't have the size of Donahue, we're still pretty good-sized. Dierking is deceptively big and deceptively fast and usually is good for a couple garbage-type plays every game. Holding Benet to 41 points, especially the way they've been scoring, was pretty good."