BLOOMINGTON -- The Benet girls basketball team had its 18-game postseason winning streak snapped in authoritative fashion Monday night at Illinois Wesleyan University.
The two-time defending Class 4A champion Redwings met Edwardsville at a third consecutive supersectional, but this time the Tigers broke through.
Edwardsville extended its season-long winning streak to 31 games by shooting 70 percent from the field in the second half to build on a 4-point lead at halftime in downing Benet 59-38.
The Tigers (31-0) will face Montini, which needed double overtime to subdue Homewood-Flossmoor, in the first semifinal Friday evening at Illinois State University in Normal.
The Redwings had their season come to a close at 28-5.
"It was just not playing like we know how to play," Benet senior standout Kendal Schramek said of a critical offensive lull bridging the second and third quarters in which the Redwings scored only 4 points in a 10-minute, 8-second stretch.
Makenzie Silvey and several key starters battling the flu aggravated the Redwings' situation.
Silvey was masterful the entire game for Edwardsville from her point guard position.
The Southern Illinois University recruit scored a game-high 18 points on 8-for-12 marksmanship from the field while committing a lone turnover in 31 minutes' playing time.
Experience can never be discounted in a playoff showdown.
"All four years I have been at Edwardsville I have been in a super," Silvey said. "We were able to go on a long run (in the middle two quarters). We take a lot of pride in our defense."
"Silvey is a great player," Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. "You give a kid like Silvey open looks, and she is going to bury them. I told someone coming in we were either going to win by 5 or lose by 20."
It proved to be the latter as Benet finished 14 for 40 from the field for its 35 percent total; Edwardsville was 16 of 23 in the second half alone for a sizzling 59 percent overall.
To make matters worse, Edwardsville had almost twice as many rebounds as the Redwings, 35-18.
Katie Jaseckas had a trio of inside scores for Benet in the opening quarter, and the senior post and classmate Schramek had 3-pointers to open the second for a 16-16 tie.
But the Redwings' Tsimba Malonga and Brooke Schramek were the only players to score for the next 10-plus minutes.
"We were settling with our (outside) shots a lot," Schramek said.
The Tigers' 22-18 halftime lead was soon out of control as Silvey scored at the third-quarter buzzer for a 16-point Edwardsville lead.
Kendal Schramek and Jaseckas, the Redwings' two returning starters, led the way with 12 and 9 points, respectively.
"It was a tough week," Jaseckas said. "We got hit by the flu. We knew they were going to be a really tough team."
Edwardsville twin posts Criste'on Waters and Myriam Noodel-Haywood had 14 and 12 points.