Bolingbrook boys basketball holds off Benet Academy in the sectional semifinals

Donate Today Buy This Video

We have a boys basketball sectional semifinal between the one-seed Bolingbrook and the four-seed Benet Academy. The Raiders enter after getting past a tough West Aurora team in the regional finals, while the Redwings squeezed past Oswego East, 57-54. We’ll see two of the best underclassmen in the state square off against one another in Bolingbrook freshman Davion Thompson and Benet sophomore Gabe Sularski, but each team is filled with strong talent across the board. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Bolingbrook senior guards D.J. Strong and K.J. Cathey combine for a great first quarter

To start the game, Sularski receives the ball and gets to work. He drives baseline and pulls up from mid-range, rattling it home for two.

We talked about Thompson, the freshman for Bolingbrook, but here it’s senior guards D.J Strong and K.J. Cathey connecting for a three. 

The Raiders are now up 6-2, and Trey Brost brings the ball up. Strong is in the corner and fires it back to Brost who knocks it down. Bolingbrook opens with three straight threes to lead 9-2 and the Redwings call timeout.

Benet needs something quickly, and Jayden Wright decides to let one fly from deep. He hits the trey ball, and Benet trails 11-5 with just under four minutes left in the first.

Blake Fagbemi drives inside for Benet, but his shot it off. Sularski is there for a nice putback, but Benet trails 15-7 at the end of the first.

Bolingbrook gets the ball past halfcourt and almost turns it over, but what an effort from Cathey and Josh Aniceto to keep it in. Thompson then catches and shoots the ball right away, hitting the three. Raiders up 18-9 early in the second.

Benet is keeping this within single digits, and after a nice Thompson corner splash, it’s Sularski’s turn to hit a contested three. Benet goes on a 5-0 run to make it 18-14 Raiders.

To close out the first half, Bolingbrook goes on a run of their own, here Strong attacks inside, getting the bucket plus the foul.

Thompson grabs a board and goes coast to coast all himself, finishing the layup through the contact. Bolingbrook goes on a 15-4 run to close the half and lead 33-18 at the break. The Redwings shot just 4/23 from the field, while the Raiders were 12/22.

Benet makes a second half push to get back in the game

Halfway through the third, Thompson gets the screen from J.T. Pettigrew and that leads the freshman open. He hits from behind the arc, scoring 16 points on the night, and Bolingbrook has its largest lead at 38-20.

But the Redwings won’t just give up, and some seniors look to provide a spark. Patrick Walsh hits the three to help Benet bring it within single digits.

Under three minutes to go, and Redwing Daniel Pauliukonis gets the offensive putback to make it an eight-point deficit. But Bolingbrook would continue to hit their shots and free throws.

The Raiders break the press, and Pettigrew scores plus the foul. He and Strong record 15 points each, and Bolingbrook boys basketball wins 67-59 over Benet. The Raiders will face the winner of Downers Grove North and Waubonsie Valley in the Sectional Final on Friday night.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!