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Benet’s junior center, Sean O’Mara, is already well on the recruiting radar for the Class of 2014.
On Friday night against Ridgewood, O’Mara displayed the reasons why.
Tying his career-high with 30 points to go along with eight rebounds, O’Mara paved the way as Benet used its strength inside to post a 70-54 victory over Ridgewood in Lisle.
“They were just getting the ball inside, getting it to me in good positions,” said O’Mara, who scored 30 points in a Redwings’ victory last Jan. over Linn-Mar (Iowa), a team that featured current North Carolina freshman guard Marcus Paige. “My guards really know how to pass me the ball well. It makes my job a whole lot easier.”
Picking up where it left off in its 49-44 upset of No. 15 York on Tuesday, Benet (5-1) pounded the ball inside continually to the 6-foot-9, 240-pound O’Mara and senior forward Pat McInerney.
McInerney recorded a double-double by chipping in 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Behind strong shooting in the first half from both senior guard Adam Krozel and junior guard Anthony Mroz, the Rebels opened up a lead as big as six points after Mroz, part of his 18-point first half, opened the second-quarter scoring with a four-point play, giving them a 21-15 lead.
But the Redwings ended the half on a 19-9 run to take a 36-30 lead into halftime behind O’Mara’s 14 first-half points.
“Ridgewood, they battled their butts off down low. I mean, Sean’s a big, physical kid down low and he’s obviously a good post player,” McInerney said. “We kept feeding him the ball, he made his move, made his layups. He had a great game.”
Held to just seven points in the second half by the Redwings’ defense, Mroz finished with a team-high 25 points for Ridgewood (3-2), while Krozel added 10 points before fouling out.
“I think he got a little tired a little bit (in the second half),” Ridgewood coach Chris Mroz said of his younger brother. “I mean, he kept us in the game a little bit. I think he showed he’s one of the better point guards around for his class, for the junior class. He’s gonna be good. He’s a very good player.”
Responding favorably to blowing a nine-point lead in its only loss, a 57-54 defeat to Naperville Central in overtime on Nov. 23 with two straight wins at home, Benet faces No. 9 Curie and its stud junior center, Cliff Alexander, at the Notre Dame Shootout on Sunday in Niles.
“Yeah, it’s definitely exciting. I know I do get to play Cliff and that’s gonna be a great matchup,” O’Mara said. “But the biggest thing is that it’s Benet versus Curie. It’s not Cliff versus Sean. So I just want to make sure that we emphasize that — that it’s a team win.”