Benet never would use tired legs as an excuse for defeat.
The Redwings, however, looked like a pretty beat bunch of boys basketball players by Saturday night.
Playing its third game in less than 24 hours, Benet lost 48-45 to Homewood-Flossmoor in a second-round matchup at the Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament.
Benet (12-5), which fell to St. Patrick in East Suburban Catholic Conference play on Friday, beat Hinsdale South 71-53 in opening-round action Saturday morning. Against the Vikings (13-3), however, the Redwings came up just short.
Jack Nolan's game-tying 3-point attempt went off the mark, and then David Buh's desperation 3 at the buzzer also missed.
"We're kind of prepared for this because we play a lot of basketball in the summer," said Redwings senior Liam Lyman, who led Benet with 21 points. "We embrace the challenge. H-F had to play three games in the last 24 hours, too."
Benet trailed for much of the game but overcame early turnover trouble -- 13 in the first half -- to make it a game late. Rallying from a 10-point third-quarter deficit, the Redwings got their perimeter game on track by hitting five of their nine 3s in the game's final 12 minutes.
Buh knocked down a 3-pointer to narrow the gap to 44-42 with 1:49 left, and then Nolan added a 3 with 1:02 left to make it a 46-45 game. Jeffrey Boyd made a pair of free throws for the Vikings with 20 seconds left to boost the lead to 48-45.
"We battled hard the whole game, we just didn't play well enough down the stretch to beat a good team like H-F," said Benet coach Gene Heidkamp, whose team plays twice again on Monday, starting at 11 a.m. "We had opportunities, but it seemed like we could never get over the hump."
Nolan scored 8 points for Benet while Buh had 6 off the bench. All five Homewood-Flossmoor starters scored at least 8 points, with Elijah McCreary scoring 11 and Boyd and Maurion Scott tallying 10 apiece.
"Once we got a grasp on the speed of the game we were able to handle the pressure better and have better possessions with the basketball," Lyman said. "We've just got to get ready for Monday."
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