OSWEGO – First-half turnovers proved to be too much for Bolingbrook’s girls basketball team to overcome on Monday as Benet Academy beat the Raiders, 85-66, the Class 4A Oswego East Sectional semifinals.
“We talked about that (turnovers) coming in,” Raiders coach Chris Smith said. “The trouble that they had when they played Bishop Mac, Marian Catholic and JCA was that they didn’t turn the ball over. That was one thing we noticed in film, they didn’t turn the ball over. We come here and turn the ball over like we did, and we don’t have a chance in beating them. We just don’t.
“Our rotational defense was giving up way too many points, and it came back to haunt us. We played 16 minutes in the first half, and we had 16 turnovers. We averaged a turnover per minute. That’s not going to beat a team like Benet. You’re just not going to beat them with turnovers like that.”
Benet (30-3) took a 16-6 lead going into the second quarter, and Bolingbrook never could catch up. The Raiders (15-12) came within two points off of an early second-quarter spark by senior Daija Hurks and sophomore Karli Seay.
Seay made a layup within the first two minutes, making the score 16-14 and prompting the Redwings to call a timeout.
After the timeout, however, Benet regrouped and made an immediate basket. Bolingbrook had a hard time containing the strong offense, especially that of Kathleen Doyle. The junior point guard capitalized on the early turnovers, scoring seven of her 20 points in the first quarter.
“We understood that Kathleen (Doyle) was going to get hers,” Smith said. “We were just trying to limit what everyone else was able to do. Defensive pressure wasn’t there. Rotation wasn’t good on defense, and the turnovers caught up with us.”
Doyle also dished out nine assists, and three other Redwings – Emily Schramek (22 points), Emily Eshoo (16 points) and Elise Stout (16 points) – dominated offensively.
In the second half, two seniors and a junior tried to spark the Raiders’ offense. To start the third quarter, senior Parris Bryant scored on a putback that shortened the deficit to 10 points, 33-23. Bryant made some important blocks and scored all of her eight points in the third quarter.
In the fourth, it was all Bennita Drain and Brittney Patrick. Drain scored a consistent two points in each of the first three quarters. Trying to keep her senior season alive, the 5-foot-7 forward scored 10 fourth-quarter points.
After being scoreless in the first three quarters, Patrick scored 13 points, hitting two 3-pointers and sinking in 5 of 6 free throw attempts. Bolingbrook scored 25 points in the fourth quarter. Bryant and Drain posted seven and four rebounds, respectively.
Despite the loss, the future appears bright for the Raiders, who are returning Patrick and Seay (12 points) and have good talent in the younger teams.
“This year it was about trying to put everything together,” Smith said. “Get a system in and get everyone on the same page. We did some good things. I’m happy, it was a good year. We have some younger kids coming up through the program that I think are going to help us out drastically. You’ll see a difference next year.”