2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/30/2017 11:31 PM

Benet ousted by St. Charles North

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

PONTIAC -- Basketball teams looking for mercy on the third day of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament are routinely out of luck.

"The thing about coming down to Pontiac is you play such good competition that your weaknesses are exposed," Benet boys coach Gene Heidkamp said after the Redwings were ousted in the double-elimination tournament by St. Charles North in a fifth-place semifinal Saturday morning.

St. Charles North scored 13 of the last 16 points to win 49-39.

The Redwings' Will Engels, who had a double-double against the North Stars with 10 points and an equal number of rebounds, forged the final tie at 36-36 with an inside score.

But Kyle King would be the difference for St. Charles North on the ensuing four possessions.

The senior post had back-to-back field goals and then fed Cade Callaghan with a flawless feed for another bucket.

Callaghan scored off his own miss on the next possession, and his two free throws moments later made it a 10-point unanswered burst.

Dave Buh, who led Benet for a second straight day with 13 points, hit a 3-pointer to end the St. Charles North run.

But Benet never scored again as the North Stars closed out the game at the free-throw line.

The Redwings had their first half close with a 9-4 record.

"That little run was the difference in the game," Heidkamp said. "(The North Stars) got a lot of easy baskets."

Both teams struggled from the field in the opening half as halftime came with the schools deadlocked at 17-17.

Engels' 3-pointer sent the teams into the fourth quarter tied again at 30, and Benet guard Jake Petrovic canceled out a Callaghan three-point play with a conversion from beyond the arc on the programs' opening fourth-quarter possessions.

The Redwings endured their fair share of struggles from the field in their games against Peoria Manual, Danville and St. Charles North.

Benet made just more than one-third of its shots overall and was 20 of 65 from 3-point territory.

"We were exposed in a lot of areas," Heidkamp said. "We have to cut down on the turnovers. We struggled to score points, so there's a lot to work on."

It was the first win over Benet for a St. Charles North team.

"They play the game the right way," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said of Benet. "When I was a young coach, Gene was one of the guys I looked up to in starting a program."

"They are a very disciplined," King said of the central difficulty of facing the Redwings."

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