By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Redwings battle the nation's No. 12 team to the end on special night; Hawks roll past Minooka


Last updated 2/16/2020 at Noon

After taking down the Associated Press' Illinois Class 3A No.1 Notre Dame, on Friday, Benet Academy (20-8) hosted the La Lumiere Prep (19-3) from LaPorte, Indiana. The Lakers checked in at No.12 in the Excellent USA Writer's Poll this week.

The Lakers starting front line consists of 6-foot-10 Treyton Thompson (four points), 6-foot-8 Jeremy Sochan (11 points) and 6-foot-7 Kamari Lands (seven points).

Battling the tall Lakers was the Redwing 6-foot-8 senior Colin Crothers, who put on a show, scoring a game-high 22 points and hauling down 12 rebounds to neutralize, the Lakers' big three.

La Lumiere guards, 6-foot-4 Jaden Ivy (11 points) and 5-foot-11 Wendell Green, Jr. (14 points) were the difference, leading the Lakers to a 54-46 victory before a capacity-crowd in Lisle

La Lumiere grabbed a 27-22 lead at the half. The Redwings were led by senior guard Matt Reid (11 points), who buried three long range three-point bombs to keep Benet close at the half.

In the third quarter, Crothers and 6-foot-3 junior Tyler Van Eekeren dueled with Ivy and Green,Jr.

Van Eekeren (seven points) buried a game-tying triple to tie the game at 29 with 5:29 in the third quarter.

Crothers' put back basket pulled the 'Wings within 33-31 with 3:40 in the frame.

On a beautiful give-and-go pass from junior Sam Hennessey, Van Eekeren's lay-in closed Benet to within 34-33 with 2:34 left in the quarter.

With 1:24 left, Crothers scored again on a great pass from Reid, pulling Benet as close as it would get at 36-35.

A total breakdown in the last minute of the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter allowed the Lakers to open a 48-39 lead with 6:44 remaining in the game.

"We really played hard tonight," Benet Academy coach Gene Heidkamp said. "We turned the ball over too much and had some ill-advised shots in the fourth quarter - that hurt us. Colin was outstanding against La Lumiere's bigs. Matt had an outstanding first half for us to keep us in the game. This was learning experience for us, playing against a team of La Lumiere's magnitude. We will do a better job next time we face a team of that stature."

"It was a change a pace for me, going against guys all bigger than me," Crothers said. "I really enjoy the competition and it was fun pushing them around. This was a great weekend for us beating No.1 Notre Dame last night and we should have beat La Lumiere tonight."

"It was such an exciting two days for us," Reid said. "To beat Illinois' Class 3A No. 1 Notre Dame last night was great. To play the No.12 team in the country, La Lumiere, tough today was exciting. In the third quarter, I really felt we were going to beat them. This was a great learning experience for us in the future."

At halftime Benet Academy honored the 2009-10 Benet Academy Redwings Elite 8 squad on their 10th anniversary. The 2009-10 Redwings were led by 7-foot Frank Kaminsky, who had a great career at Wisconsin and is currently in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns) and Dave Sobolewski, who played at Northwestern.

The entire team returned, including Kaminski, returned home during the current NBA All-Star break.

Sobolewski thanked Heidkamp for all that he did for the 2009-10 Redwings on and off the court.

Sobolewski also honored Heidkamp on his 300th career coaching win at Benet last month and his upcoming 50th birthday on Sunday. Heidkamp was then serenaded by the capacity crowd with Happy Birthday Coach Heidkamp.

The whole team also presented Heidkamp with a framed Benet Academy picture with a Benet Academy jersey with the No. 10.

"It was great to see all my players from the 2009-10 team, back here at Benet," Heidkamp said. "They were an outstanding group of young men. The whole ceremony was a lot of fun for me."


Maine South 67 Minooka 52

The Hawks concluded the home season with the nonconfernce win over the Indians (2-25) to improve their record to 16-13.

Hawk junior Nick Ostojic just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sean Gallery scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Casey Clark added 14 points. Six-foot-5 junior Marko Anderson chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds.


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