Benet comeback stuns Indiana's top-ranked team

  • Kathleen Doyle

    Kathleen Doyle

 
 
Updated 1/16/2016 10:12 PM

After his team's worst half of basketball this season, Benet coach Joe Kilbride started to diagram a play. Then he suddenly stopped, erased what he'd drawn with a swipe of his hand and gave his players the halftime talk they really needed to hear.

"Forget it," Kilbride said. "Just play!"

 

So they did.

The Redwings overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to stun the top-ranked team in Indiana, Homestead of Fort Wayne, 58-55 Saturday night at the 26th annual Chicagoland Prep Classic at Willowbrook.

"We're ecstatic," junior center Katie Jaseckas said. "We're so excited. It was a really big team booster."

The loss left the Spartans in a state of disbelief.

"They obviously shot the ball very well in the second half," Homestead coach Rod Parker added. "They really executed what they do offensively, so I have to give them a lot of credit for that."

The defending Class 4A champion Redwings (17-2) seemingly could do nothing right in the first half. When they didn't commit a turnover, they missed a shot and lacked their usual energy doing it.

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"It really didn't feel like we were competing," Kilbride said of the first half. "(The Spartans) are a very good team, and we actually spent a fair amount of time prepping for them, so it's very disappointing when the things we practice we're just not doing."

Meanwhile, Homestead (17-1) looked every bit like a nationally ranked team. The Spartans made 7 of their 14 3-point shots. Florida recruit Karissa McLaughlin scored 15 of her game-best 23 points in the first 16 minutes.

The Spartans led 39-20 at halftime. The break just gave the Redwings a chance to reset.

Hoping to winnow their deficit down to 9 by the end of the third quarter, the Redwings went to the fourth trailing 50-40 with a number of players contributing along the way.

"Emma Lyne didn't play a ton the second half but she was good the first half chasing McLaughlin around," he said. "(Clara) Prasse gave us good minutes, (Lauren) Stack, (Ali) Kramer. We got some good contributions from a bunch of kids and found a good combination that got it going."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A Jaseckas 3-pointer with 1:13 to play cut the Homestead lead to 55-54.

"I honestly didn't realize the score had come that close," Redwings senior Elise Stout said. "We were just in the heat of the game. Just towards the end I realized we had a chance at winning. We never gave up."

A steal put the ball back in Kathleen Doyle's hands with time winding down, and the Nebraska recruit didn't hesitate to drive and kick the ball out to Stout in the right corner. Stout's 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left put the Redwings ahead for the first time since the five-minute mark of the first quarter.

"I just kind of put it up like a normal shot, and it felt great," Stout said. "Kathleen had a great pass off it."

Stout finished with 20 points. Jaseckas, scoreless at halftime after missing the only shot she took, put up 19 points in the second half, making all 4 of her 3-point shots.

"Katie's a good 3-point shooter," Kilbride said, "she just doesn't do it that much for us. The way they were guarding today, they were sagging off of her and she was teeing it up."

Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_Schwarz

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