Benet's boys basketball team expected bumps in the road this season.
In the midst of a brutal stretch of schedule, the Redwings hit another pothole on Friday.
Marist, bouncing back from its first loss of the season on Tuesday, held off Benet 49-45 in their East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup in Lisle.
Benet (14-6, 1-3) trailed by 9 points midway through the fourth quarter before rallying behind 3-pointers from Matt Teglia and Liam Lyman. After Maurice Commander split a pair of free throws to give the RedHawks (20-1, 4-0) a 48-45 lead with 26 seconds left, the Redwings missed a chance to tie when they turned over the ball.
Morgan Taylor split another pair of free throws to boost Marist's lead to 49-45 and seal the win.
"It was a big loss for us, and that gave us our first 'L'," said Commander, whose team lost to rival Brother Rice in overtime on Tuesday. "Our teammates are resilient. One loss doesn't define our season. Benet's a good team. To get a win over them, it just gave us our confidence back."
The lead changed eight times in the first half including seven times in the first quarter. When a pair of Commander steals and buckets helped extend Marist's lead to 24-16, Benet's offense struggled to regain its footing.
Benet made 8 of 27 3-point attempts and attempted only four free throws. Jack Nolan led a balanced effort with 11 points while Teglia and Liam Lyman tallied 10 points apiece.
Commander led all scorers with 14 points. Taylor scored 6 of his 12 from the line and 6-foot-9 Justin Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Marist.
"It just seemed like we were two steps behind everything the entire way," said Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "I give a lot of credit to them. To beat a team like that you have to play a little bit better and we have to shoot the ball a little bit better. We just struggled to do that through the course of the game."
Of Benet's six losses, five have been by 4 points or fewer.
"We're still playing well, it's just we're hitting a part of our schedule that's really tough," Heidkamp said. "We're at 14-6 and look at our schedule. A lot of people would kill to be 14-6."
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