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Benet Academy's Sean O'Mara tries to get a shot off against Plainfield North's Corey Evak during their regional game at Benet in Lisle on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Benet would go on to win 63-39 | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Receiving an extra day off prior to the start of its postseason run due to inclement weather, Benet didn’t seem fazed at all.
Jumping all over 15th-seeded Plainfield North right from the start, second-seeded Benet cruised to a 63-39 victory Wednesday night over the Tigers in the first semifinal of the Class 4A Benet Regional.
With four different players scoring the Redwings’ first four baskets on the night, their offense looked extremely sharp early and often.
Scoring the game’s first six points en route to taking a 29-10 lead early in the second quarter, it quickly became a pick-your-poison proposition for the Tigers.
“I thought we were really, really focused at the start of the game. I thought we executed well on both ends of the floor,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “I thought our kids did a good job of coming out and getting off to a good start defensively. We did a good job of moving the ball on offense and we got (junior center) Sean (O’Mara) some touches early in the game. We executed pretty well.”
As O’Mara was in the midst of controlling the paint, he was having perhaps an easier time kicking out to shooters on the perimeter.
O’Mara posted a double-double with game-highs in both points and rebounds with 24 and 10, respectively, while five players combined to hit on Benet’s six threes.
“I mean, if our guards are hitting, it opens up the inside for me and then I’ll do my work inside,” he said. “It’s just pick-your-poison.”
The Redwings led wire-to-wire, by as many as 34 points and had nine different players score.
Three different Redwings accounted for their four threes in their first-quarter blitz, which saw them lead by 18 points eight minutes into the game.
“It was one of the best first quarters we’ve had all year,” Heidkamp said.
Armed with its eighth postseason win over the course of the last four years, Benet (25-5) advances to Friday’s final looking to win its third regional title in four years.
Awaiting the Redwings will be either seventh-seeded Naperville Central or 10th-seeded Naperville North.
Benet split with Naperville Central in the teams’ two meetings, while it opened up the season Nov. 19 with a win at Naperville North.
“It’s gonna be a good game,” O’Mara said of Friday. “I mean, no matter what team it is — it’s gonna be a good game. It’s always tougher to beat the team the second time around, third time if we play Central. I’m excited. We’re looking forward to it.”
Plainfield North (14-14), which lost to Benet, 55-35, on Dec. 11 in its own holiday tournament, was led by senior guard Marcus Fair with nine points.
“They overwhelmed us early and they just kept riding that wave,” Tigers coach Nick DiForti said.