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Benet guard Eddie Eshoo stood in the corner in front of his team’s bench, waving his arms in the air and clapping, doing everything he could to get his teammate’s attention. When the ball finally reached his hands after a cross-court pass from Jack Euritt, Eshoo took one dribble, set his feet, and launched a beautiful arching jumper that swished right through the net.
The shot was a heat-check, and Eshoo certainly was on fire.
Eshoo scored a team-high 17 points, helping the seventh-ranked Redwings to an impressive 60-35 victory against host Carmel on Tuesday evening. The senior didn’t even take a shot in the first quarter, but drained two threes in the second and made the first three field goals for either team to start the second half, helping Benet (16-3, 2-0) to an important road victory in the East Suburban Catholic.
“My team broke the pressure, and I got some wide-open shots,” Eshoo said. “I know that my team trusts me to make shots when I get the ball.”
The Benet offense starts with 6-foot-9 center Sean O’Mara, but when he is defended heavily in the post, coach Gene Heidkamp asks his players to share the ball and find open shots. It’s kind of a pick your poison choice for opponents; the Corsairs chose the former, crowding the paint and limiting O’Mara to 11 points. However, it opened up shots for Eshoo and his teammates, allowing the Redwings to go on runs of 10-2, 12-2 and 13-2 throughout a contest that was never really in doubt.
“I thought we were unselfish offensively, and that was a big part of it,” Heidkamp said. “We found the open man and made shots early in the game, and I think that became contagious. Our kids were looking for the open man, and people were finding opening shots, making the extra pass to get us even better shots.
“Part of the reason those shots were available was because Sean was in there, drawing so much attention. When teams pay so much attention with their help, it’s going to allow our guys to get some of those open looks, and we did a good job of taking what the defense gave us.”
Carmel fell to 5-8 overall and 0-2 in conference with the loss.