Wherever she is on the court, Christen Prasse is the best option for Benet with the game on the line.
Prasse put back her own miss with just more than a minute left, and the No. 9 Redwings recovered from blowing a 12-point fourth-quarter lead to beat No. 15 Hinsdale Central 70-61 on Thursday in Lisle.
Benet (6-2) scored the game's last 9 points, starting with Prasse's follow shot with 1:12 left that snapped a 61-61 tie. The St. Louis-bound senior scored 15 of her 20 points in the second half to go with 7 rebounds.
"She's the real deal," Benet coach Peter Paul said, "and she's still not 100 percent (healthy) yet."
Up until this year, Prasse played primarily point guard for Benet and her AAU team. Now she's working more out of the post. It takes some getting used to seeing her there, but at 5-foot-10 with long arms Prasse might just be a good fit. Plus, Benet seems to have a good up-and-comer at point guard in freshman Kathleen Doyle.
"I'm the second tallest on this team," Prasse said, "and it just adds to my skill level. I can shoot, I can drive, I can post up -- it will be harder to guard me. We just made this plan up over the summer, because most of the guards that are on me will be smaller. I can use it to my advantage. I don't work on it hard core in practice, but it comes naturally."
Doyle scored 15 points and also did stellar work hounding high-scoring Hinsdale Central sophomore Gabrielle Rush. Rush, averaging 22 points a game coming in, scored 20 with 9 assists but did it on 8-of-23 shooting.
"Kathleen is just a big ball of energy and I'm so happy she's on my team," Prasse said. "She gets up on the guards bothering them and she's doing a great job of it."
Benet, leading 30-29 after a back-and-forth first half between two teams that like to play offense, seemed to take control after answering a Rush tying 3-pointer with a 16-4 run. A pair of Prasse free throws and a Prasse flip shot in the lane started the spurt. Doyle and Emily Schramek both hit jumpers off Prasse post kickouts and three Prasse free throws made it 59-47 with 5:09 left.
Consecutive three-point plays by Jenna Broz and Lilly Sarros sparked a Hinsdale Central rally, and the Red Devils (4-2) tied it 61-61 with 1:33 left on a Lauren Zapka steal and pull-up jumper in transition.
Prasse's basket stemmed the tide, and after a Hinsdale Central turnover in the backcourt Doyle hit a pair of free throws.
Allowing 70 points and 19 offensive rebounds to a smaller team, Hinsdale Central coach Tom McKenna acknowledged the late comeback masked a game his team was asking to lose.
"We didn't deserve it," McKenna said. "They outplayed us the whole game, they really did. If we would have won that game it would have been pure luck. They kicked our butt on the boards, and if you would have asked me it would have gone the other way around."
Sarros scored 19 points with 10 rebounds and Zapka 12 points for Hinsdale Central. Schramek tallied 15 points and Eden Olson 11 for Benet, which helped its cause with 18-of-21 free-throw shooting in the second half.
"We're a pretty good free-throw shooting team if you give us the opportunity," Paul said. "It's a good win. Scoring 70 points, that's a lot for us."