It was a textbook Benet girls basketball play.
With time running out sophomore point guard Kathleen Doyle drove the lane and kicked the ball left to junior Emily Eshoo, waiting just behind the 3-point line. Eshoo's shot swished through with 1.6 seconds to play, giving the Redwings a 61-58 victory at Naperville North in the Naperville North/Benet Holiday Tournament on Friday night.
"Right when I let go of it, it felt really good," Eshoo said. "It was really good because throughout the game I really was cold. I wasn't shooting as good as I was hoping for. At the timeout we talked about that play that we were going to run and all the options that were going to be open. Kathleen had a good drive and kicked it out and found me, and I made it. It was just a really good all-together play."
"It wasn't uncontested," Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver added. "We were pretty much there, and she hit it over our hands pretty well."
Benet (10-5) jumped out to an 8-point lead during the first quarter, when junior Emily Schramek scored 11 of her team-best 22 points.
"We did not do a very good job of getting tight enough (defensively), and they knocked down some open jumpers early," Copenhaver said. "I thought we adjusted well and played pretty tough the rest of the way, but that was a pretty big hole we put ourselves in. It was unfortunate we couldn't battle just a little bit better."
But by the middle of the third quarter, Providence had fought back to take a 32-30 lead. That was the last time the Celtics (10-3) led. Benet led 48-41 at the end of the third quarter, but the Redwings never could shake the Celtics.
"They were outstanding," Benet coach Peter Paul said of the Celtics, "and I thought we stayed with them."
With 37.7 seconds left, Providence junior Alyssa Jurges drove the lane and got her teardrop shot to drop for the final 2 of her game-high 24 points, tying the game at 58.
"She's just a heck of a player," Paul said of Jurges. "It's hard to stop her."
Benet set up for one final shot, a shot that went to Eshoo.
"I anticipated them to crash on Kathleen," Eshoo said.
"I thought we passed it out nicely," Benet coach Peter Paul added. "I thought everything worked to perfection."
Eshoo finished with 12 points. Doyle had 11 at game's end, but just as important were her 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals. Not bad considering she had two fingers on her right hand buddy-taped because of a jammed finger suffered earlier in the week.
"She really gets up there and does a great job for us," Paul said, noting the 5-foot-8 guard's shot-blocking ability. "Now as we've added on who's going to guard the opposite No. 1 guard, it's going to be her."
In the other tournament game at Naperville North, Wheaton Warrenville South defeated the host Huskies 58-40.
One big difference for the top-ranked Tigers (10-1) was rebounding. They had 9 in the first two quarters combined, 10 in the third.
"Naperville North got all the rebounds and all the hustle plays in the first half," WW South coach Rob Kroehnke said. "We got them in the third quarter when we made a run."
Meghan Waldron led the Tigers with 21 points, and Maggie Dansdill added 19. Junior Kayla Sharples scored 15 for the Huskies.
The Huskies meet Benet at 6 p.m. Saturday at Naperville North, with WW South playing Providence at 7:30 p.m. in the tournament finale.
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