Benet battles its way back to state

  • Benet celebrates after defeating Whitney Young in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional game. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet celebrates after defeating Whitney Young in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional game. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet rushes the court after defeating Whitney Young for the Class 4A Mother McAuley supersectional title Monday.

    Benet rushes the court after defeating Whitney Young for the Class 4A Mother McAuley supersectional title Monday. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet poses with the supersectional plaque after defeating Whitney Young for the Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet poses with the supersectional plaque after defeating Whitney Young for the Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) shoots a jump shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) shoots a jump shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Olympia Kokkines (20) drives baseline during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Olympia Kokkines (20) drives baseline during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's head coach Joe Kilbride calls out a play during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's head coach Joe Kilbride calls out a play during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Emilia Sularski (35) shoots close to the basket during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Emilia Sularski (35) shoots close to the basket during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Margaret Temple (22) handles the ball during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Margaret Temple (22) handles the ball during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) shoots a jump shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) shoots a jump shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) drives baseline during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) drives baseline during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) puts up a shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) puts up a shot during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

  • Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) advances the ball during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022.

    Benet's Lenee Beaumont (4) advances the ball during Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional between Whitney Young at Benet. Feb 28, 2022. Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 2/28/2022 10:43 PM

Margaret Temple carried Benet's supersectional plaque into a wild mosh pit of a celebration with student fans.

She was in tears as Benet ran off the court to the locker room.

 

The spectrum of emotions was fitting in a night of highs and lows for the Redwings' senior guard.

Temple missed her first seven shot attempts Monday. Her eighth helped send Benet to state.

Temple's tying three-pointer, with 2:37 left, was the biggest shot of the night at Mother McAuley. The Redwings scored the last 12 points of the game to charge past Whitney Young and win the Class 4A Mother McAuley supersectional 44-37.

Benet (30-3), advancing to state for the fourth time since 2015, plays Stevenson at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Redbird Arena.

"It's a dream come true," Temple said. "It's my senior year. You want to live it out as much as you can. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'll remember it forever."

Her shot, too, was indeed unforgettable.

Lenee Beaumont drove the lane, kicking out to an open Temple on the right wing. Temple's three-point attempt was nothing but net, tying it 37-37. Temple, scoreless until the fourth quarter, had hit two free throws with 3:23 left to close Benet within 37-34.

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It set the stage for Temple's big three that even she wasn't sure about.

"I didn't think it was going in, because the rest of them didn't, so it felt good," Temple said. "The adrenalin in me was overwhelming. It was a little frustrating but I just kept shooting hoping one of them would fall."

Beaumont at times Monday was the only girl on either side that could make a shot, and she scored a game-high 23 points.

But she had plenty of faith to pass off to Temple with the game on the line.

"I always have confidence in any one on our team," Beaumont said. "We do shooting drills all the time. I knew eventually it was going to fall."

Young (23-6)) turned it over for the third time in four possessions after Temple's shot, and Morgan Demos hit two free throws with 1:18 left to give Benet a 39-37 lead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Benet, which missed 11 free throws in the fourth quarter of its sectional final win, was 9-for-10 from the line in the fourth quarter Monday, 14-for-16 for the game. Beaumont was 7-for-8, after missing six free throws in the previous game.

"I had to redeem myself after the Naperville North game," Beaumont said. "We were there for 45 minutes before practice shooting free throws."

Young came in with a 15-game winning streak, and was playing for its first state appearance since 2016 in front of a huge crowd that included Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

But the Dolphins went scoreless the final 3:56 after two free throws from freshman guard Destiny Jackson. Young's 37 points were a season low. Skylar Jones led the Dolphins with 12 points.

Young scored just five points in the fourth quarter, shooting 1-for-6 with five turnovers.

"Our defense has been really good since Geneva [Dec. 29]," said Benet coach Joe Kilbride whose team has allowed just one opponent -- Naperville North in the sectional final -- to reach 50 points since December. "I thought our defense was really solid. And Temple is just a warrior."

Indeed, while Temple's shot was off she was making her presence felt defensively.

She held Jackson, an All-State candidate, to seven points, less than half her average coming in, with just one field goal.

"[Jackson] is a phenomenal player. Margaret guarded her, really guarded her," Kilbride said. "She does that every game. She did it against [Naperville North's Kenzie] Hare. I kept saying to her we're going to make one shot when we needed it, and that's what happened."

Beaumont scored 13 of her 23 points in the first half, helping Benet hang in there tied 17-17 at half. She hit three threes while Benet's other players were 0-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first half.

"Today was a day that she needed to carry us," Kilbride said. "Margaret made that one big shot and it changed everything."

Demos added nine points, seven coming in the second half, with five rebounds.

Beaumont only attempted two shots in the second half. But her second, a three-pointer on Benet's first possession of the fourth quarter, tied it 32-32.

"I wouldn't say I put the team more on my shoulders," Beaumont said, "but I just know that if it helps the team I have to continue shooting."

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