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While Benet executed some key components of its game plan well Wednesday night, the most critical component -- making shots -- was off.
With unbeaten and state-ranked Joliet Catholic (13-0, 2-0) visiting Lisle for an East Suburban Catholic Conference battle, the Redwings (10-7, 0-3) needed to shoot well to stay with the Angels, but when the shots just wouldn't fall Joliet Catholic left Lisle with a 65-44 victory.
The Angels started a trio of 6-footers led by Michigan State-bound forward Jasmine Lumpkin, who recorded game highs of 21 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Freshman Ty Battle, the daughter of former West Aurora standout and NBA player Kenny Battle, added 10 points.
The Redwings, meanwhile, made just 1 of 13 shots in the first quarter and just 2 of 21 shots in the first half as the Angels led 27-15 at the intermission.
"We always said, you've got to make baskets. We had a really tough time making baskets. Stuff that we normally do we just didn't do," said Benet coach Peter Paul, who added that his team did play solid defense and also did a good job getting numerous open shots.
Angels coach Ed Schodrof, in fact, was not thrilled with his team's play through two quarters. He knows that on most nights the Redwings will knock down more of those good looks, and he also wasn't too happy with the 11 turnovers his team had in the first half.
"I thought we were a little sluggish in the first half," Schodrof said. "I think the second half we picked it up better, trying to contest the shooters, because tonight they got a lot of open looks. We were really angry at halftime. Benet did what they wanted to do. They made it a half-court game, slowed the tempo. For us, the second half was much better than the first."
Benet players did try and attack the basket on a night when the outside shots just weren't dropping. Emily Eshoo led the Redwings with 13 points, and Kathleen Doyle was next at 11. The two combined to go 14 of 15 from the free-throw line.
"Definitely, they're unbeaten for a reason," Eshoo said. "They're ranked. We knew it was going to be tough.
"We knew we were going to have to shoot the best that we could because we knew every possession, every point counted. We tried to protect the ball and shoot as well as we could, but it just didn't go as well as we were planning on it."
Emily Schramek and Eden Olson each connected on 3-pointers for the Redwings, but as a team Benet made went just 2 of 19 from beyond the arc.