Benet's 'three-headed monster' finds a fourth
Benet breezed to the finals of the Tip-Off tourney behind its "three-headed monster."
But the Redwings were even scarier in Saturday's 75-45 championship game defeat of Providence Catholic as 6-foot-1 sophomore center Katie Jaseckas joined the big three of Emily Eshoo, Emily Schramek and Kathleen Doyle in helping dismantle the Celtics (4-1).
Jaseckas scored 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting and added 11 rebounds and a blocked shot as Benet claimed its first Tip-Off crown since 2005 with the easy win on Naperville. Schramek and Eshoo each scored 17 points and Doyle 15 as the Redwings improved to 6-0 on the year.
"We've had really hard practices and I think that really helped," said Jaseckas, who until Saturday hadn't scored more 4 points in a varsity game. "We're finally getting comfortable with each other. This is my first game where I really felt comfortable with the team."
Eshoo scored 8 quick points as Benet led 18-14 after one quarter, but a full-court pressure defense helped the Redwings break the game open with a 30-point, second- quarter outburst. Doyle, a point guard who also had 8 rebounds and 2 steals, had 9 nine points in the big second quarter.
"We've been working really well together," said Doyle, a junior who is getting attention from a number of Division I schools. "Our chemistry is, like, through the roof right now. It's really fun. We're working really hard on defense. When we do that, when we play locked in on defense, it lets the game come to us."
Benet's defense forced 11 turnovers in the first two quarter as the Redwings built a 48-27 lead at the half. Eshoo's tough defense on Celtics guard Alyssa Jurges also played a big role. Jurges had just 4 of her 10 points in the first half. Redwings guard Elise Stout also excelled on defense, adding 4 steals and a blocked shot to her 7 points scored.
"Our first couple minutes were a little shaky, but once we got into it and got our pressure going we got the tempo where we wanted it and things looked good after that," Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. "It was a good first half. Eshoo had a good game offensively, but she also had a great game defensively. We've been talking about our sort of three-headed monster -- Doyle, Schramek and Eshoo … but we're getting contributions from a lot of players and it makes you really hard to guard."
If Jaseckas continues to develop, this Redwings team will be tough to beat.
"She's really coming into her own. Today was kind of a breakout game for her. She's starting to feel really comfortable playing with us. She just had to get used to us."
Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver didn't think her team brought enough energy into the 11 a.m. tipoff but also was not about to sell the Redwings short.
"I think their energy today was 30 points better than ours. It's not the energy that my kids usually bring," she said. "They played harder than us and they created their own opportunities. So it's got to be a learning opportunity for us that when you don't bring the energy than the ball's not going to go your way. Kudos to them. They're phenomenal. We couldn't get anything going early."