The playoff journey continues at Bartlett High School as the Redwings of Benet Academy face the Geneva Vikings in the sectional championship. Benet Academy beat Lake Park in the semi-finals and looks to win sectionals for the first time since 2018. Geneva upset Wheaton-Warrenville South and aims to claim their first sectional title since 2019. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Benet Academy and Geneva battle in a defensive slugfest
Geneva puts the game’s first points on the board. Michael Lawrence’s no-look jump pass finds Thomas Diamond underneath the basket, where he finishes the layup.
Points were hard to come early in the one, but Nikola Abusara turns defense into offense as he intercepts the pass and takes it to the rack to put Benet on the board.
Benet’s Brayden Fagbemi calls ISO here as he pulls up deep from three without hesitation and knocks it down to put the Redwings in the lead 7-6 after the first.
Benet stretch their lead going into halftime
Benet comes out in the second quarter looking for baskets, and they do as Fagbemi feeds the rock to Brady Kunka in the paint, and he drains the midrange jumper.
Fagbemi is feeling it from behind the arc; he gets the pass from Abusara and hits nothing but net to extend the Redwings’ lead.
Benet continues to ride their momentum. Fagbemi dishes it to Abusara on the baseline and reaches over Diamond to get the basket and the foul. Benet led at the half 17-10 over Geneva.
The Redwings and the Vikings continue to go back-and-forth
The Vikings look to narrow the deficit in the second half as Martin Lawrence drills the three-point basket to start the third quarter.
The Redwings, though, continue with their stout defending as Abusara picks the pockets of a Geneva player and gets the pass from Andy Nash to finish the play and draw the foul.
Geneva keeps it close as Jimmy Rasmussen drives and kicks it out to Tanner Dixon, who knocks down the corner three.
Benet wins the game with only a second left
The Vikings found their shooting stride late as Lawrence again hit another triple, now only down four to the Redwings.
Geneva takes the lead for the first time in the game as Dixon drives to the lane, splits the Benet defenders, and finishes the layup to put the Vikings up 35-34 with less than a minute left.
Yet, the Redwings prevail at the death as Fagbemi drives to the basket to find Abusara, whose contested layup bounces off the rim. Yet, Fagbemi grabs the rebound and gets air to get the putback bucket with a second left.
That’s how it would end as the Redwings win sectionals 35-34 to advance to super-sectionals against Rockford Auburn at Northern Illinois on Monday.
For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!