Metea Valley senior Jenny Voytell had yet to step to the free-throw line Saturday night, but was thrilled to get the chance with the game on the line.
With Voytell and the Mustangs tied with Benet at 37 in the final game of the Naperville Central Tip-Off Tournament, Redwings guard Kathleen Doyle nearly came away with a steal, and Metea Valley then called a timeout with 11.9 seconds left on the clock.
The Mustangs (5-1) got the ball inside to Voytell, who was fouled by Emily Schramek with 9.5 seconds left. Voytell made one of two foul shots, and after Benet turned the ball over in the final seconds, the Mustangs had a 38-37 victory and the championship plaque in hand.
"I was really excited that I had a chance to win it for us and I'm glad I could make 1 of 2," said Voytell, who finished with a game-high 20 points and 5 steals.
The Mustangs, who dropped their season opener before going 5-0 at the Tip-Off tourney, held the Redwings (4-2) without a field goal while taking an 11-2 lead after one quarter. Thehosts had 12 turnovers while trailing after two quarters before rallying in the second half behind Schramek, who tallied 13 of her 17 points in the final two quarters.
"I'll take holding Benet to 37 points any day," Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said after her team claimed the tourney title that would have gone to Providence had the Mustangs fallen Saturday night. "I thought we had a great defensive effort all the way around."
Benet had just 6 field goals in the first half but found itself leading 25-24 midway through the third quarter following a Schramek 3-pointer and a drive to the basket by Doyle. But Voytell answered with a 3 of her own and put-back and was on her way to a personal-high 20 points.
"We're pretty much a brand-new team. We have a lot of young people so this is a great way to represent our school and move forward," Voytell said.
The Redwings offense was not at its best, yet they had their chances to win a game that was tied at 33, 35 and then at 37-37 after a Doyle layup with 1:15 left to play.
"We've got trouble scoring and all of a sudden we pick it up," said Benet coach Peter Paul, who notched his 600th career victory earlier in this tourney before dropping contests to Providence and Metea Valley the last two days. "We still have a ways to go."