Timothy Christian sees benefit from Benet win
Win or lose, Saturday's boys basketball game was good for both Benet and Timothy Christian.
Benet's rebounding and ability to hit the 3-point shot can dictate how a game is played, as Timothy Christian rediscovered in Benet's 51-39 nonconference victory in Lisle.
Benet (18-7) came off Friday's East Suburban Catholic Conference loss to Marian Catholic determined as well.
"It was a big factor for us, I think," said Benet center Colin Crothers, who scored 11 points with 14 of the Redwings' whopping 50 rebounds, 17 of them offensive.
"Especially coming off a loss last night, one of the main factors was because we didn't control the boards, we didn't get second opportunities on offense. That was one of our major points today, just to come back and own the boards," Crothers said.
Timothy Christian (19-5) is a strong Class 2A team that got better simply having played the Redwings, an annual power who will play in this season's Class 3A playoffs.
"We knew Benet was a heck of a team, we knew how physical they were going to be," said Trojans senior A.J. Vos, who scored 11 points with 11 rebounds. Josh Harris scored 14 points and Matt Owens 10 for the Trojans.
"Obviously, we lost, but the way we played today, we played extremely hard," Vos said. "If we play this hard every single night, day in and day out, we're going to win a lot more basketball games, so that's the mindset we're trying to keep."
Neither team shot well early but Benet's strength -- 18 first-quarter boards, 9 offensive -- provided a 14-7 lead after one quarter.
Timothy crept within 24-21 on 3s from Harris, Vos and Owens and a Ben Jones putback. Benet ended the first half on 3s from Colin Gillespie and Matt Reid, and on Reid's inside basket, to lead 32-21.
Reid finished with 10 points. Gillespie and Sam Hennessy scored 9 apiece as Benet looked for the good shot.
"We work a lot on post feeding," Gillespie said. "Colin (Crothers) always has his eyes up and sees the skip pass. We shoot a lot in practice and we practice the skip pass. The ball movement and the extra pass is really key for us."
Timothy Christian improved its second-half rebounding, but Benet remained in control, leading 44-33 after three quarters.
The Trojans cut it to 44-37 on two Harris baskets assisted by Owens. Sensing a run, Benet coach Gene Heidkamp quickly called time out, then Hennessy canned a 3.
Benet didn't score for more than five minutes after that, but the Trojans' 3-of-18 fourth-quarter shooting allowed no late rally.
"The reason that we want to schedule them and play them," said Timothy Christian coach Scott Plaisier, "is the physicality that they play with is nothing that we can see unless we play them.
"For us to learn that lesson on how physical you have to be to be a really good team is something that we hopefully will take forward for the last four games of the season and into the regional."