Senior Allison Hlavin has a theory about the Benet girls basketball team's balanced scoring.
"We're never selfish," the Redwings co-captain said. "We all trust each other with the ball, we know what each other can do, so we love to just help others and help ourselves too."
Loyola didn't know which way to turn Saturday afternoon in Lisle as the Redwings helped themselves and each other to scoring chances, getting ahead early and winning big, 54-29. The Redwings earned assists on 14 of their 22 field goals in the nonconference game.
"We've got a great group of girls out there," Hlavin added. "We all fit well together. We all love each other so much, and it's just fun to play with everybody."
The Redwings (7-2) had a lot of fun jumping out to a 9-2 lead less than three minutes into the game, going up 16-5 on an Emily Eshoo 3-pointer with a minute left in the first quarter.
"We've just been working really hard in practice lately, working on our defense especially because our coaches said we need to clean that up a bit," Hlavin said. "I just think our hard work has paid off and we got off to a good start today."
"We didn't really play well from the start, never really got on track," Loyola coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. "Benet's a real good team and knocked down some shots. It really was a bad day for us."
The rout continued in the second quarter, with the Redwings taking a 30-12 lead a minute before halftime on Morgan Thomalla's steal and lefty layup.
"Everybody scored," Benet coach Peter Paul said. "I thought we took care of the basketball. We didn't have many turnovers. When we rebound, we're able to rebound, we're not a bad ballclub. The young kids were rolling together, and we're doing better."
Eshoo, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to lead the Redwings with 12 points, adding 5 rebounds. Emily Schramek, another sophomore, added 10 points, and nine of the 10 Redwings who played scored.
"We've got a lot of young kids and they're getting the opportunity to play, and they're taking advantage of it," Paul said.
Loyola's best player, senior guard Anna Schueler, saw her first action since injuring her left knee more than a week ago, though she originally was expected to be out 4-6 weeks. She clearly favored the knee and made just 2 of 11 shots.
"We weren't going to play her as much as we did," said Schoenecker, whose Ramblers fell to 4-3. "But she felt good and said she could go."