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Academy duel goes in Benet's direction
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff

Dylan Flood of Benet Academy, right, shoots around Tate Fritz of Wheaton Academy during boys basketball Tuesday in West Chicago.


Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

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Published: 2/9/2010 11:41 PM

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There is only one Academy, suggested the white T-shirts of Wheaton Academy's student section.

For sure there's only one Dave Sobolewski.

Benet Academy's point guard and his Redwings pals gave the hosts just their second loss Tuesday, a 64-55 nonconference decision at a standing-room Warrior Dome in West Chicago.

There's also just one Tim Rusthoven. The 6-foot-9 William & Mary recruit was Benet's defensive focus.

"We knew that we wouldn't be able to take him out of the game with just a single guy," said Sobolewski, who tied Rusthoven with 21 points and added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. "We had to take him out with our entire team, and we did a great job doing that. Then, our defensive rebounding, which was huge, allowed us to get out and run in transition."

Rusthoven, who had 7 blocks and 7 rebounds, certainly was not silenced despite dealing with Benet's 6-3 Mike Runger, 6-10 center Frank Kaminsky (who turned an ankle and sat the last two minutes after scoring 10 points) and collapsing defenders. With Wheaton Academy forward Anthony Ritchie hampered by foul trouble, Benet (18-3) outrebounded the Warriors 31-22, 19-5 on the offensive end.

"They were just going after it," Rusthoven said. "They played us physically. We didn't retaliate physically - not like in a bad way. They were just going harder than us, is what it boils down to, and they were just outphysicalling us."

Wheaton Academy (20-2), which had won seven straight, led 19-15 after a quarter on 8 of 9 shooting, including 2 Tate Fritz 3-pointers. Benet never again allowed such efficiency. Steals by Runger and Sobolewski fed a 7-0 Redwings run and a 22-21 lead at 4:57 of the second quarter. Benet didn't trail again, forcing 8 second-quarter turnovers to lead 37-32 at halftime.

"They were scoring way too easy," said Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "We needed to pick up the defensive pressure, and I thought we did a much better job of that in the third quarter. We came out and got some stops and were able to push the game out a little bit."

Benet outscored Wheaton Academy 12-7 in the third and led by as much as 56-41 with 4:31 left to play. The Warriors went on a 12-2 run to get within 58-53 on a Quinn Gorski drive with 44.2 seconds left, but Sobolewski and Matt Parisi clinched the win at the foul line.

"We might have scored some points in the first half, but we never ran our offense well," said Wheaton Academy coach Paul Ferguson. "By the time we did start running it well we were behind, and when you're behind against Benet they're very difficult to play against because Sobolewski just controls the tempo of the game and it's so hard to get the ball out of his hands."