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Another day, another close game and yet another player coming to the rescue for Benet.
This time it was Eddie Eshoo who stepped up for the No. 6 Redwings. The senior guard scored a career-high 16 points, including four three-pointers, to lift Benet to a 47-42 victory over Lockport on Friday at the Plainfield North Tournament.
It was the latest in a string of low-scoring, tight contests that the Redwings (9-2) have been involved in and the second they have won in as many days, following Thursday’s 41-40 win over Lincoln-Way North.
“I thought we did a great job of keeping our composure,” Eshoo said. “I guess it’s getting a little bit easier since we’ve done it a couple of times recently, but I think we just did all the right things to win the game.”
That included getting the ball in the hands of Eshoo, who sank 4 of 5 shots from the floor and made all four of his free-throw attempts.
Eshoo’s biggest baskets came in the fourth quarter. Lockport led 39-32 when Eshoo took a pass from Jack Euritt and drained a trey to make it a four-point game with 4:45 left.
That triggered an 11-0 run that saw Eshoo bury the go-ahead three-pointer with 2:30 remaining off a feed from forward Pat McInerney, who followed by making a steal and three-point play to give the Redwings a 43-39 lead at the 1:29 mark.
“[I was feeling] nothing out of the ordinary,” Eshoo said. “My teammates just did a great job of finding me and I thought I hit the open shot well.”
“Eddie is a good player,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “Eddie has added a lot to this team. When he’s making shots it adds a whole other element to our offense, so he’s a big part of what we’re doing.”
Eshoo’s contribution was key because Lockport (3-7) focused on shutting down 6-9 center Sean O’Mara, who tallied 21 points the previous night. O’Mara was held to two points in the first half and finished with seven points on 2-of-8 shooting.
The Porters got a solid performance from 6-6 senior David Robinson, who guarded O’Mara and finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Robinson’s third three-pointer of the game pulled Lockport within 43-42 with 1:16 to play, but Eshoo sank two free throws, Jack Toner forced a five-second call and then point guard Collin Pellettieri, who hadn’t shot the ball all game, made two free throws with 11 seconds left to ice it.
“We got some nice contributions from a lot of people today and I thought it was a good team win,” said Heidkamp, whose team finished 3-1 in the tournament and is in a stretch of five games in five days. “Is it our best basketball? I don’t think so, but I think today was a real character check. It was nice to be able to pull out a win.”
McInerney, an Illinois baseball recruit, finished with 11 points, five assists and four steals. Grover Anderson added 12 points for Lockport.