Christian Liberty received both the inside and outside firepower that has been making the Chargers a bit more successful in the second half of the season.
Junior guard Jesse Castro and junior center Steve Ringstrand both scored 20 points in Christian Liberty's 70-50 nonconference win over St. Benedict from Chicago on Wednesday at the Grace Gym in Arlington Heights.
The Bengals (4-12) were led by Anthony Bradley, who scored consistently in each quarter and finished with 24 points.
The Chargers now have won two in a row and four of their last six.
"We had a tough first half of the season where we played some strong teams," said Chargers coach Jed Bennett. "We have really progressed as a team since the season began."
Castro came out with the hot hand, hitting for 10 points (including two of his four 3s). That helped the Chargers open up a 19-6 lead after the first quarter.
"With us shooting well in the first quarter," said Castro, "that helped open up the inside game and we were able to get the ball inside more. They couldn't sit back in their zone so they changed their defenses. We still found ways to score."
The Bengals, with Bradley scoring 10 of the 12 points they put on the board in the second quarter, narrowed the gap to 30-18 at halftime.
St. Benedict knocked 2 more points off in the third quarter, narrowing the margin to 10 at 46-36.
The fourth quarter saw Ringstand take over, as he scored 10 points.
With the 6-foot-5 junior working inside, Christian Liberty kept the 10-point lead intact until the final 3:00, when the Chargers led 60-50.
The Bengals did not score the rest of the game after Bradley's last basket.
Ringstrand scored from underneath, Brendan Munoz (13 points) hit a basket and 4 free throws before Castro hit 2 of 4 free throws to finish the game with a 10-0 run.
"We're starting to click more as a team," said Ringstrand. "The intensity on defense has been going up for us. We're excited about the games we have coming up. We have some winnable games and we want to finish this season with a flourish."
Bennett like what he sees with Castro and Ringstrand.
"Jesse is averaging 16 points for us and Steve 12 points and 9 rebounds," said Bennett. "We have some nice size and some good shooters. It's nice to have some shooters and bigs."
Christian Liberty gets back into action Saturday night when it travels to the western edges of Aurora to take on Illinois Math & Science.