What the Benet girls basketball team considers its top strength, its offense, was on full display Monday night in an 80-53 season-opening win over Chicago's St. Ignatius College Prep in Lisle.
The Redwings hit five 3-pointers in the opening quarter to take a 21-11 lead and enjoyed a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
"If we shoot the ball well, that's us. We gave them 53 points and I would like to get that down," said Benet coach Peter Paul.
Three Redwings finished with 14 or more points. Emily Schramek scored a game-high 18 points. Emily Eshoo had 16 and Kathleen Doyle put through 14.
The Redwings' biggest lead of the first eight minutes came when Doyle converted a steal into a layup to put her team up 18-5 with 1:20 left.
Benet controlled the boards 22-10 at intermission. Offense comes easier to the team, but the Redwings are determined to be an effective defensive and rebounding team.
"We've just been focusing on defense in practice," Eshoo said. "We know we have to play defense and rebound well because we're not that big."
Eden Olson led Benet with 9 rebounds. Eshoo, Schramek and Kathleen Doyle each had 7.
Only three seniors are on the 2013-14 roster, but it is a more experienced team than last season's.
"I think there's improvement from last year. It's a veteran team. We're a lot more calm," Eshoo said.
The Redwings led 38-20 at halftime and 56-35 after three quarters. The Wolfpack pulled to within 15 with just more than six minutes left in the contest, but Benet finished on a 24-11 run.
Benet returns to action Friday in the opening day of the Naperville Central/Benet Tournament. The Redwings host Rockford Auburn at 7:30 p.m.
The Redwings are finally glad to be done with preseason practice and hit the schedule.
"For two hours before the game, I just kept walking. I couldn't sit down, I was so excited. This is my favorite time of the year," Schramek said.