Benet keeps its roll going with ESCC win at St. Viator

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/18/2021 3:26 PM

Ranked No. 2 in the most recent Daily Herald girls basketball Top 20, visiting Benet Academy wanted to keep its momentum going strong Saturday at St. Viator before the holiday tournaments begin next week.

And the Redwings did just that as an 8-point run to end the first half staked Benet to a 29-15 lead over the Lions in East Suburban Catholic Conference action.


Benet (10-1, 2-0) built its biggest lead at 40-21 late in the third quarter before posting a 53-40 victory despite a strong fourth-quarter rally by St. Viator (9-4, 2-1).

A 3-pointer by St. Viator's Mia Bergstrom and a trey by teammate Joy Bergstrom quickly cut the Red Wings' lead to 40-27 with 7:28 to play.

The Lions' comeback attempt would keep on surging as Katie McCormick's basket capped a 14-2 run to make the score 42-35 with 5:20 still remaining.

"We only shot 27 percent today, but you've got to give credit to our girls, they never stopped playing and cutting the lead to seven points was impressive," said St. Viator coach Jason Raymond, whose team was outrebounded 30-16.

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"Benet had a number of players step up for their team and their balanced attack affected us today."

A 3-pointer by Benet's Lenee Beaumont boosted the lead to 45-35, but Mia Bergstrom's fourth 3-pointer cut the lead to 46-38 with 1:57 to go.

That was as close as the Lions would get as the Redwings grabbed numerous offensive rebounds while outscoring St. Viator 7-2 in the final 1:49 of the contest.

Benet was without starter Samantha Trimberger due to illness, but sophomore Emilia Sularski stepped up with 12 points as a starter Saturday.

The Redwings' balanced offense also got 12 points from Margaret Temple, 10 points from Morgan Demos, and 9 points from Beaumont.

"I thought we did a very good job defensively guarding their actions that limited them. They're a very good scoring team, and I thought we did a nice job of kind of managing that," said Benet coach Joe Kilbride. "Obviously the fouls in the second half kind of helped get them back in the game, but I was very pleased with our defense and Emilia Sularski played well in her first start today."

Joy Bergstrom came on strong late with 11 of her game-high 16 points in the final nine minutes while Mia Bergstrom hit double figures with 12 points. St. Viator's Nora Ahram scored 8 points while Benet's Maggie Sularski added 5 points.

"Emilia stepped up and it was amazing to watch. She was knocking down shots and getting us open passes," said Demos. "The flow of the game changes, and once it kind of shifted a little but we got our composure back to where it's supposed to be and played our game."

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