Benson, Prospect clamp down on Wheeling
Prospect forward Trisha Benson had a good night on the stat sheet Friday against visiting Wheeling, as evidenced by her 6 points and 6 rebounds.
But it was more on the defensive end of the court — as usual — that the junior made her presence felt in a 62-39 Knights Mid-Suburban East victory.
Just days after holding Hoffman Estates standout and Old Dominion recruit Destinee Young in check in a Prospect crossover victory, Friday Benson had the unenviable task of shadowing Wildcats sophomore guard Deanna Kuzmanic — another of the MSL's top players.
And although Kuzmanic did get her points — a game-high 21 of them, in fact, in another strong performance — Benson made the soph work hard for every single one, and limited limited her to 7 points in the first half when the contest was still in doubt.
"Trisha's effort doesn't go unnoticed," said Knights coach Ashley Graham. "She did a phenomenal job on Destinee, and here tonight she switched over from (forward Young) to a point guard (Kuzmanic), and did an incredible job on her as well.
"She does a lot of the little things that go unsung, but believe me, her teammates and I notice. She's always in the right place at the right time. Trisha's our go-to player on 'D'."
Benson was a bit fatigued after the game, but that'll come from playing the entire contest full-tilt end-to-end until coming out with 2:59 remaining as Graham cleared her bench.
"Deanna is a great player," said Benson of her Wildcats counterpart, "and we weren't going to let her beat us tonight. Our goal was to limit her touches and keep her off the boards."
The Knights charged out of the gate and opened up a 23-7 lead midway through the second quarter after junior guard Kristen Frasco made a steal and coast-to-coast layup, followed by a driving basket by senior Adriane Falagario.
Prospect (6-2, 1-0) led by 17 at the half, then the Wildcats (2-6, 0-1) made a third-quarter run helped along by 5 of Hannah Dobrowski's 8 points on the evening.
An electrifying spin move to the basket and layup by Kuzmanic cut the deficit to 11, but the Knights responded behind Taylor Will.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore scored 8 of her team high 17 points in the second quarter, then two consecutive 3s from Michele Molini to open the fourth put the game out of reach.
Molini finished with 12 points on 4 3's, while Falagario added 11 and Catherine Sherwood scored 8.
Coach Graham, though, was more impressed with her player's effort on defense.
"We held them to 11 points in the first half," said Graham, "and that's a testament to our team 'D'."
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