By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Benet Academy boys complete sweep of Marist in ESCC girls/boys doubleheader


Last updated 12/14/2019 at 12:52pm

On Friday night, the Benet Academy girls and boys varsity basketball teams traveled to the Mount Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago to take on Marist in an East Suburban Catholic Conference doubleheader.

In a battle of state-ranked girls basketball teams, the No.1 ranked Redwings (10-0, 1-0), defeated No. 6 Marist (7-1, 0-1) 63-55 in the first game of the evening.

It was up to the boys, then to complete the Benet Academy ESCC sweep.

Leading by as much as 12 points, 32-20, in the third quarter, Benet, had to withstand a furious fourth-quarter Marist rally, which pulled the Redhawks to within 38-37 with 3:13 left. The play of the game was next.

Six-foot, 5-inch Redwing junior Tyler Van Eekeren (10 points) fed Redwing 6-foot-3 senior Jack Prock, in the right corner, with a perfect pass.

Prock buried a three-pointer and was fouled by Marist's Alexander Knight (11 points). Prock (14 points, four rebounds) completed the four-point play at the line for a 42-37 Redwing lead and the Redwings (5-1, 1-1) would hold off the Redhawks (4-3, 0-2) 46-40.

"No doubt, Jack's (Prock) four-point-play was the play of the game for us," Benet Academy coach Gene Heidkamp said. "Tyler's (Van Eekeren) pass made the huge play possible."

"Like coach said, Tyler made a great pass and I just knocked it down, like I do in practice every day." Prock said. "I have to take care of the ball better but I hit some big shots and we got the win."

Marist jumped out to a 9-2 lead and led 13-9 after the first quarter.

The Redwings hit Marist with a second-quarter barrage, outscoring the Redhawks 17-3 for a 26-16 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, leading 26-20, Prock's old-fashioned three-point play was followed by Van Eekeren's second, long-range three-point bomb of the game for a 32-20 Redwing lead.

"My teammates did a great job screening for me which allowed me to get the shots off," Van Eekeren said. "We rebounded well but we have to take care of the ball better. A great team win tonight."

After his second consecutive Enterprise Newspapers All-Area Football selection, this fall, Benet's 6-foot-4, 240-pound center, Jake Snell, put on a show for Benet Academy. Snell scored seven points, hauled down 11 rebounds, and rejected four Redhawk shots.

"I did a really good job on the boards tonight," Snell said. "I have to get better scoring inside and at the free throw line. I missed a number of layups but this was a good win for us."

Snell has been replacing, Benet's lone-returning starter from last year, 6-foot-8, 225 pound senior Colin Crothers, who has been injured.

Benet hopes Crothers will put the business suit back in the closet and put back on his No. 55 and join his teammates on the court.

"Jake (Snell) did a good job for us and he is such a good passer," Heidkamp added. "If we would have shot the ball better tonight, Jake would have had multiple assists. We ran our inside-out game well tonight but it was such a grinder and I am very happy we got out of here with the win."


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