Benet Gives It a Good Try Redwings Can't Overcome Top-Ranked Marshall
Miller, Dave, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Dave Miller Daily Herald Sports Writer
NORMAL - You might not believe this looking at the final score.
But Benet gave a good account of itself in losing to No. 1-ranked Marshall 63-37 in the Class AA state quarterfinals Friday in Redbird Arena.
Heavily-favored Marshall (30-0) exploded for a 14-2 lead before Benet (29-5) pulled to within 18-16 early in the second quarter. The Redwings trailed 32-24 midway through the third quarter before the Commandos pulled away down the stretch with their superior quickness and athleticism.
"Give credit to Marshall," Benet coach Peter Paul said. "I thought they played exceptionally well. Give credit to us. I thought we battled back. We gave them a head start. Maybe we shouldn't have started out in that 2-3 zone."
In retrospect, perhaps. It is hard to fault Paul, though, for thinking a zone was the defense to play against the quick-driving Commandos.
But wouldn't you know it? Marshall came out and torched Benet's zone with hot shooting from the outside. All-state 5-foot-11 junior forward Kourtney Walton drilled a couple early 3-pointers as the Commandos ran out to a 14-2 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Benet switched to its preferred man-to-man defense and slowed Marshall's attack. Before long, the Redwings found themselves down only 18-16.
That is as close as they came, however. Marshall took a 28-20 edge into the half and enjoyed a 41-30 lead heading the fourth quarter as Benet's poor shooting prevented the Redwings from mounting a serious run. …