Benet way too fast for Oswego
Oswego found out Thursday night that there's playing fast, and then there's keeping up with Benet.
The Redwings flew past the Panthers 87-60 at the Class 4A Oswego East girls basketball sectional final by forcing Oswego to try to run with them.
"We love to play fast and we love to score a lot of points," Benet senior Emily Eshoo said.
They did a lot of both. The Redwings never trailed in the game, and an Elise Stout basket gave them a 22-11 lead after one period. By halftime No. 1-seeded Benet (31-3) led 44-28.
"I thought if we could handle their pressure we'd be able to do some things offensively in the half-court, but we just couldn't get the ball past half court in the first half and the rest was history," Oswego coach Chad Pohlman said.
Even when the No. 3-seeded Panthers (22-10) scored they couldn't rest for even a second.
"What really worked well for us was when they did score we were hopping out and running it," Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. "Running it hard.
"It's a difficult thing to score and now you've got to turn and sprint back. And several times we did it in the first half in particular where it was hop and outlet, one pass, two pass and layup at the other end. I just thought their pace was great."
Oswego got the start it needed to the second half, cutting the Benet lead to 12. But Kilbride called a timeout, and his players took control from there.
"We tried to make a run on them," Pohlman said.
Benet went on an 11-2 run, with the lead crossing the 20-point threshold on junior guard Kathleen Doyle's basket.
"They're incredibly in shape. They're super-strong," Pohlman said. "They're going to be a tough out the rest of the way. They don't stop."
"I really thought the kids did a great job of sharing the ball and hunting the best shot, not hunting my shot," Kilbride said. "I was very pleased with our offense in that regard."
Eshoo led the Redwings with 24 points, a good sign for them, a bad sign for future opponents.
"Emily Eshoo got it going tonight, which I was really thankful to see because honestly she has been having a hard time here lately, so it was great to see her get it going," Kilbride said of the Bradley recruit.
Emily Schramek added 17 points, Stout had 13 and Doyle 8. Doyle also had 10 assists and 6 rebounds. Schramek added 7 rebounds.
"We've really been practicing playing fast throughout the whole season," Eshoo said. "It really paid off this game because every time they got a basket we just came right back and answered with another basket. We never really let them get into a groove just by being able to keep coming back every time."
Senior Jordan Campbell led Oswego with 29 points, and classmate Erin Sinnott added 11.
"Came to play," Pohlman said of Campbell. "She was fired up the whole week and the whole tournament run, realized it was her last time as a senior to put the uniform on and got after it."
Benet advanced to the Illinois Wesleyan University supersectional on Monday in Bloomington where it will meet Edwardsville, a 53-51 winner over Rock Island. The winner advances to the Final Four the following weekend in Normal.
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