Benet settles for fourth at Pontiac

By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/30/2021 9:56 PM

PONTIAC -- Benet picked the wrong moment for Noah Shannon to break out of his two-day slump.

A New Trier forward, Shannon scored all 15 of his points after the intermission to lead the Trevians to a 53-42 victory over Benet in the third-place game Thursday night at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.


The Redwings (8-3) were knocked into the major-consolation final after falling to Curie by the identical score in the second semifinal.

"My teammates kept telling me to shoot," said Shannon, who had three of the Trevians' 12 3-pointers. "I had been cold the whole tournament. But they kept encouraging me to shoot."

The Trevians' accuracy from beyond the arc was astounding as they were 12-for-21 from distance.

Bennett limited New Trier to 7 conventional field goals.

"We just tried to contain," Benet senior post Kyle Thomas said. "We knew they were good shooters. We wanted to keep them under their (points-per-game) average.'

The first New Trier field goals of the game came from beyond the arc.

Thomas, who finished with a game-high 20 points, also had important backup support from Brady Kunka and Nikola Abusara.

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Kunka was able to attack the rim with authority; Abusara was equally aggressive on both ends of the court in scoring 7 points.

Kunka finished with 10 points.

Benet trailed for virtually the entire game after the Trevians' Jake Feigen failed to draw iron in canning three consecutive 3-pointers to open the first quarter.

But the Redwings' made a late move in the fourth, closing to within 42-36 on two Brennan White free throws.

It proved to be a mirage, however, as New Trier sixth-man Carlo Kolak and Shannon hit back-to-back 3-pointers to restore the Trevians' double-digit lead.

"They're a very good team," Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said of the 15-2 Trevians.

In the Redwings' loss to undefeated and top-ranked Curie, Benet certainly had the early edge by scoring 17 of the first 24 points of the game.


But Curie gradually wore down the Redwings behind twin posts Chikasi Ofama and Jeremy Harrington.

The Redwings' plight was exacerbated by Thomas being sidelined for extended minutes in the second half with foul issues.

"That changed the whole complexion of the game," Heidkamp said of Thomas' foul woes. "We struggled to score in the second half."

"I'm a physical player and have a strong build," Ofama said.

Ofama led the Condors' balanced attack as he was one of four players in double figures with his game-high 14 points.

Benet was unable to secure its 20-17 halftime lead as the Condors struck for 18 points in each quarter after the intermission.

Curie shot 74 percent from the field after halftime while Benet struggled in missing more than two-thirds of its second-half offerings from the floor.

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