How scary is this thought?
"We're still figuring it out," Benet senior Kendal Schramek said. "This is a new team. We lost a lot of girls from last year, so we're still trying to figure it out. I think we're getting there. I think it's just a matter of coming together. It's early. But it's getting better."
Benet got much better in the second half Tuesday against host Naperville Central. Clinging to a 32-27 lead at halftime, the Redwings scored the first 13 points of the third quarter and led by as many as 22 points later in the period on their way to a 73-54 victory over the Redhawks.
Katie Jaseckas led Benet with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, Kendal Schramek and sophomore Clara Prasse each scored 11 points and junior Tsimba Malonga added 10 points as the Redwings improved to 4-0.
Prasse's 3-pointer 26 seconds into the second half was the spark Benet needed after it squandered a 29-19 second-quarter lead.
"I think, all in all, we had to pick it up both offensively and defensively (in the second half)," Schramek said. "I think we needed to pressure more on defense and get more into them, and on offense we just needed to play crisper and cleaner.
"We were forcing too much in the first half, not making the right pass," she added. "It was all about playing how we know how to play. Our younger players do have a lot of talent. It's just going to take time and experience for them."
Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum lamented his team's poor free-throw shooting in the first half. The Redhawks could have easily led Benet at the break but made just 10 of 24 free throws, including misses on all but six of their first 20 attempts.
"We could have been in much better position to start the second half, and then they get the first 13 points of the half?" he asked. "You can't let a good team like that run away from you. I felt like we played them even the rest of the way, but after getting down 20 points you can't play them even anymore."
Junior Mia Lakstigala led Naperville Central (2-1) with 25 points, and junior Maria DeShazer added 14.
"I'm disappointed we didn't play better, but I don't feel discouraged at all," Nussbaum said. "Our upside is very bright. But we can't play like this on Friday. We have to get better. But the purpose of this tournament is to play good teams to get ourselves ready to do the things that we want to do."