By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Redwings, Moriarty slip past St.Viator for sweet senior night victory


Last updated 3/3/2021 at 11:42pm

Upon entering any high school basketball game in Illinois, due to the virus, one must have their temperature taken at the gate and record a normal temperature to be admitted.

After Sunday's temperature-rising, heart-stopping, Margaret Temple's game-winning, overtime victory over Marist, the Benet Academy Redwings were at again 72 hours later against St. Viator.

After Benet's Kendall Moriarty's (10 points) floater for two put the Redwings up 40-38 with 12 seconds left, St. Viator's All-East Suburban Catholic Conference player Joy Bergstrom (10 points) was fouled with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation.

Two shots for the talented Lions junior - time out Benet. Unfazed, Bergstrom nails the first shot.

Benet Academy 40, St. Viator 39.

Time out Benet.

"I called the second timeout to draw something up for us, if Joy made the second shot," Benet Academy coach Joe Kilbride said.

Bergstrom missed the second charity toss, which fell harmlessly to the floor for another amazing Redwings, game-winner 40-39.


It is a safe bet that everyone in the Benet gymnasium, after another heart-stopping Redwings' victory, would have recorded a fever and would have been evicted from the premises.

It was senior night at Benet and five Redwing seniors, led by Kendall Moriarty, were honored in a pregame ceremony. Moriarty, along with Reagan Rodenbostel, Jacqueline Ernsting, Emma Parney and Margaret Snyder had their parents escort them onto the court to the applause of the Benet Academy family.

Also being honored on senior night, was a slightly-older participant, none other than the venerable athletic director of Benet Academy Gary Goforth who will be retiring at the end of the school year after 33-years at the helm.

"I finally will get to spend time with my grandchildren," Goforth said.

The fourth quarter was where everyone's temperature went up a few degrees.

With the game tied at 28-28, Redwing (9-0, 6-0) junior Lenee Beaumont (10 points, two 3's) scored five consecutive points for a 33-28 Redwings lead.

St. Viator (8-2, 4-2) stormed back into the lead on a pair of long-range three, from Emma Morrissey (10 points, two 3's) and freshman Mia Bergstrom (nine points, three 3's) and a bucket by Joy Bergstrom for a 36-35 lead with 1:26 remaining.

With 1:01 remaining, Sunday's heroine Margaret Temple (seven points, two 3's), buried a three from the corner to regain the lead for Benet Academy at 38-36. Joy Bergstrom scored and tie the game at 38 with 32 seconds left.

For four years, Moriarty has received thousands of floor burns, bruised knees and sprained ankles playing her patented in-your face defense. With today's win, she played in 93 Redwing victories.

At any other school, she would have been a 20-point per game and 1,000-plus point career scorer. Moriarty scored hundreds of points for the Redwings in her career, but the last two she scored tonight clinched a share of the Redwings' fourth consecutive ESCC title.

"We were running nothing. We were just running around," Moriarty said. "I owe the game-winning basket to Lenee (Beaumont) who found me all alone and gave me a perfect pass for an easy basket. I owe it all to Lenee."

"I couldn't believe they left Kendall all alone," Beaumont said. "There was no doubt in my mind that Kendall was going to make the shot. We look to her to be there for us in game-winning situations. What an awesome win."

Six-foot-2 junior Morgan Demos was her usual force inside for Benet, scoring four points and hauling down a career-high 15 rebounds.

"Morgan was unstoppable on the glass tonight," Beaumont added.

"Yes it was a career high for me," Demos said. "Lenne once again was huge for us in the second half especially with her two big three-pointers."

Rodenbostel (seven points) scored five of her seven points in the third quarter to give the 'Wings a 28-26 lead at the end of three quarters.

"Reagan was great for us tonight," Beaumont added. "A complete team victory."

"Again we played great defense tonight against a very good, St. Viator team," Kilbride said. "I get no credit for drawing anything up on Kendall's game-winning shot. That was all Lenee and Kendall."


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