Benet Academy remains unbeaten with win over Notre Dame
by sam story For Sun-Times Media February 11, 2011 9:44PM
Updated: February 11, 2012 3:49PM
NILES — Sometimes you wonder if the atmospheres can be any better in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
On Friday night, the answer was a resounding “no.” But, amongst the horde of yelling and cheering in the Notre Dame student section, the Benet Academy boys basketball team let their play do all the talking in front of a raucous home crowd in Niles.
University of Wisconsin recruit Frank Kaminsky had 16 points to go along with 14 rebounds while fellow Big Ten recruit David Sobolewski (Northwestern University) poured in 12 as the Redwings prevailed over the Dons 45-37.
The win moves Benet to 25-0 but it wasn’t without yet another stern test.
Right from the start it looked like the visitors from Lisle would be making quick work of the undersized Dons team. Sobolewski was fouled on a drive and hit both free-throws before hitting a long 3 and a pair of two-point jumpers. Kaminsky and teammate Pat McInerney (six points) both pulled down three early rebounds apiece and the Redwings were coasting 9-2 before Notre Dame was forced into an early time out.
The Dons would finish the first quarter down 13-6 but came out with much more intensity in the second. They would hold the Redwings to only eight points while senior star Quinton Chievous (14 points) would score seven alone to get the home side to within two (21-19) as the teams headed for the locker rooms.
And if there was the thought of an upset in the cards from Dons fans, there was good reason: Sobolewski picked up his third foul with 2:37 remaining in the second quarter with Benet holding a 21-14 lead.
Even without the foul trouble, Notre Dame was playing outstanding defense on a Benet team that is used to crushing opponents. The Dons held the Redwings to 7-of-22 shooting from the field.
Without Sobolewski, the Redwings were using Kaminsky to help bring the ball up the court. It’s a move that has been common the past few weeks as the senior point guard has been out with back spasms.
“Frank is so talented and it’s nice he can help bring the ball up the court. It hurts us because then he can’t be in the post but we did a nice job handling the pressure,” said Sobolewski.
But, Benet continued to control the boards as Kaminsky poured in six in the third frame as the visitors held a 35-29 lead going into the final frame.
From there, Kaminsky took over.
The senior scored six more points, including 4-for-4 from the free throw line, and seemed to grab every big rebound down the stretch. The Dons simply couldn’t muster enough offense to make things interesting. Notre Dame was 3-for-14 in the final frame and while they had cut Benet’s lead to 37-35 at the 2:30 mark, they had nothing left in the tank after such a stout defensive effort.
“Our team’s defensive effort was outstanding all night and that is something we talked about. We know how good Chievous is and we did a nice job controlling him,” said Kaminsky.
Chievous finished 4 of 16 from the field while teammate Rodney Pryoer finished with nine points.