Beaumont's 26 leads Benet past Carmel
Benet's Lenee Beaumont waited a few extra minutes before turning on the green light on Friday afternoon.
But she definitely made her mark in the nonconference victory over Carmel.
The Indiana recruit is an elite two-way player capable of affecting a game on many levels. A four-year varsity player, Beaumont admitted she's adjusting to her expanded role this season, especially following the graduation of post player Morgan Demos.
"I feel I'm a more confident player out there this year," Beaumont said. "It's a big change, definitely a bigger role but at the same time, coach (Joe Kilbride) has been wanting me to shoot more throughout my whole high school career. It's not all of a sudden like I have the green light, but something I need to continue to work on."
Beaumont scored a game-high 26 points and Samantha Trimberger added 15 points to spark Benet to a 61-44 win over Carmel in the Tip-Off Tournament.
After the Corsairs (4-1) led for most of the first quarter, Beaumont started putting her imprint on the game. She scored 8 straight points -- an old-fashioned three-point play, a long-distance trey and a spin-move in the lane for a bucket -- to give the Redwings (4-0) a 16-9 lead. Carmel never recovered from the Beaumont late-first quarter show, trailing by 15 points in the second quarter and 21 in the fourth.
Beaumont said she's worked on adding a few more touches to her game during the offseason, including attacking stronger with her left hand to help the Redwings avenge a loss to the Corsairs last season.
"I had a lot of things I wanted to focus on this year, from finishing both ways and that comes with confidence," Beaumont said. "Last year if someone got up to me full court, I probably would've had a few more turnovers. This year I feel like I worked on my balance and strength and all the stuff is finally coming together and it's helped me be a better player out there."
A more complete Beaumont, who added six rebounds, four assists and two steals, spells bad news for the rest of the state.
"Benet is a really good team, and Beaumont is a great player," Carmel coach Ben Berg said.
Through four games, Beaumont and the Redwings are showing that their on a mission to return to the state tournament. Emilia Sularski added two highlight-reel 3-pointers to close out the third quarter, draining a rainbow 3 in the face of Carmel 6-4 senior Jordan Wood. Just over a minute later, Sularski (nine points) hit a pullup 29-footer to end the half.
"(Carmel) is a good team and we really wanted to beat them," Sularski said. "We wanted to get them back and get a good win. This was a good game. I wanted to build some confidence. I knew Jordan Wood was going to guard me, and tried to get as much space as I could because she has long arms and is a great defender."
The Corsairs, the defending Class 3A state champion, missed the toughness of junior guard Anna Hartman (knee injury). Wood, a Michigan State recruit, supplied the bulk of the scoring with 13 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. Mia Gillis chipped in with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
"We're definitely looking forward to playing (Benet) more in the conference," Wood said. "We will be ready later in the season when we play them again."
Benet coach Joe Kilbride said he's encouraged by the results in the first few weeks of the season.
"This is another good early season test," Kilbride said. "We're not hiding. I thought our two freshmen, Emma Briggs and Bridget Rifenburg, were really good. Beaumont is really good. I just feel like everyone has gotten better, and have worked on it and improved."