York shows its quality with triumph vs. Benet
Chalk up another nice weekend for York's boys basketball team.
In back-to-back weeks the Dukes followed victory over an unbeaten West Suburban Silver foe with a quality nonconference win on Saturday.
This time York held off Benet 56-51 in Elmhurst on the heels of Friday's win over Glenbard West.
"We were kind of an underdog coming into the season," said Dukes senior guard Jake Brandolino, who scored 8 points. "We had a lot of success last year with a bunch of seniors and people didn't really know what to think about us. But it's important to show people we can hang with the best teams."
York (7-1) again unleashed its ball-press defense against the shorthanded Redwings (5-2), who were without their two best post players. Six-foot-eight Colin Crothers continues to sit because of injury while 6-4 Jacob Snell missed Saturday's game due to an official football recruiting visit to Miami of Ohio.
The lack of an inside presence made an impact on both ends of the court but especially on defense, where at times the Dukes scored at will under the basket. Four players had at least 7 points led by Nate Shockey's 17.
"They diced us up in the halfcourt offensively," said Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "We gave up way too many easy baskets, and I credit their offense for that. As much as the missed shots and turnovers hurt us, our halfcourt defense let us down."
York, leading 25-18 at halftime after forcing 13 first-half turnovers, opened a 45-31 lead early in the fourth quarter as the Dukes held the Redwings without a 3-pointer from midway through the second quarter until about a minute remained in the game.
Benet closed within 6 points thanks in much part to Jack Prock's late shooting but the Dukes hit enough free throws to keep their distance.
Prock scored 17 points before fouling out in the final minute. Matt Reid had 15 points and Tyler Van Eekeren scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half.
York's Denton Rohde came off the bench to score 7 of his 13 points during the stretch where the Dukes pushed their lead to double digits.
"I thought we put ourselves in a good position and defended pretty well," said Dukes coach Vince Doran. "Whether they have all their crew or not, Benet is going to play you tough."