Sularski shoots Benet to 3rd at Morton tourney

 
By Bobby Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/30/2021 11:18 PM

Benet sophomore guard Maggie Sularski's first career varsity start turned out to be memorable in many ways.

Sularski buried 3 3-pointers to score all 13 of her points in the second half to spark the Redwings to a 66-55 win over Marist in the third-place game of the Morton College Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament in Cicero.

 

The Redwings (14-2) bounced back from a tough loss to Geneva in the semifinals by pulling away from a pesky Marist team in the fourth quarter.

After watching her twin sister, Emilia, light up Naperville North for a career-high 24 points, including 6 3-pointers, on Dec. 21, Maggie Sularski answered with her own fiery shooting display. Mary Clare Brusek led the RedHawks with 14 points and Emily Bojan had 10 points.

Sularski's torrid shooting helped stop Marist from handing the Redwings a rare second loss in two days.

"I was just trying my best to help the team out," Sularski said. "I haven't been playing that much, but I started today which was a big step up for me. I just tried to help the team by making shots and getting rebounds."

Sularski accomplished her goal to give the Redwings a third-place trophy in the inaugural tourney that featured some of the top teams in Chicagoland area.

"I'll have a good day, (my sister) will have a bad day, and I'll have a bad day, and she'll have a good day, so we've discussed this about working together and getting good shots and helping the team win," Sularski said.

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Benet coach Joe Kilbride emphasized the importance of other players -- besides star point guard Lenee Beaumont and senior center Morgan Demos -- to step up following Wednesday's defeat to Geneva. Maggie Sularski answered the call with 8 points in the first 5-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.

"Maggie and her sister are both really good shooters, but Maggie had it going a bit more today," Kilbride said. "She got some open looks against their triangle and two (defense). I was very pleased with our resilience and that they came back ready to play. That's a good sign, not only for basketball and in life. I mixed some things up in terms of the starting lineup today. We got good contributions."

Benet was certainly in a holiday mood, proudly sporting ugly Christmas warmups -- think red, green and white on the front with red decorated sleeves -- throughout the four-days of the tournament. But the Redwings made sure not to give one thing away -- a victory.

Beaumont made a point to play more aggressive to avoid an "L" by scoring a game-high 25 points, hitting 4 3-pointers to finish with 43 points in the final two games of the tourney. The junior guard attacked the basket in the first half to set up her outside shot, scoring 10 points in the second quarter to lift Benet to a 33-28 lead

Demos added 13 points to end with 38 points in the final two games.

"I wasn't too happy about (Wednesday), and no one on the team was," Beaumont said. "We knew we had to bounce back, and we all wanted this win. Our goal was to lock down on defense. It was awesome to see (Maggie) step up, too."

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