Benet has until Thursday to enjoy Saturday's 64-44 rout of Urban Prep West at the 52nd annual Proviso West Holiday Tournament in Hillside.
A tournament of the stature of Proviso West's will only get harder on the Redwings in the second round when they face Morton at 1:45 p.m. Thursday. The tournament resumes Wednesday with the second half of the first round.
"This tournament is so loaded, especially now with the extra 16 teams," Benet senior Pat McInerney said of the field that expanded this year to 32 teams. "There are so many good teams, you play a good team every game, and hopefully we keep winning."
The Redwings were all business right from the start of their first-round game, jumping out to a 15-0 lead. It was 17-3 after the first quarter, 36-13 at halftime.
"We got off to a really good start at the beginning," McInerney said. "We were ready to play from the start."
"I think it was a deer-in-the-headlights type of experience," Urban Prep West coach LaTroy Farrow said of his players. "The Jordan (players') lounge did it. They were good till they went to the Jordan lounge. They were loose and relaxing and joking and they went into the Jordan lounge and it was time for game time, and I didn't know who they were."
Shooting woes hurt Urban Prep West (8-4), which made just 5 of 24 in the first half, getting only a Michael Baker 3-pointer in the first quarter.
"We felt if we played solid defense, close out on all their shots and got out and ran we'd have a good chance," McInerney said. "They're a scrappy team. They played really hard. They hit their shots when we didn't close out like we needed to."
"It begins and ends on the defensive end for us," added Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "Our ability to put together some stops and get some scores on the other end I thought was the difference in the game. It allowed us to really push the lead out and play comfortably through three-fourths of the game."
The Redwings (11-2) also used their height advantage on the boards, scoring on several putbacks on the offensive end and allowing Urban Prep West just one shot on the defensive end.
"That's tough to overcome," Farrow said of Benet's 48-28 rebounding advantage. "Then it becomes a make-or-miss game for you. And we didn't make them. If you miss them and you're not getting second-chance opportunities, it can get pretty ugly for you pretty quick. That's kind of what happened."
Sean O'Mara led Benet with 11 points and McInerney had 10 points and 9 rebounds, even though no Benet starter played in the fourth quarter. The Redwings' lead peaked at 31 points in the third quarter on junior Collin Pellettieri's 3-point basket.
"That was a good team," Farrow said. "Benet's a very well-coached team. They're disciplined, they're solid at each position. They play together."