DARIEN – With all the hype surrounding Benet's boys basketball team this season, people were anxious to see how the Redwings would respond in their season opener Tuesday.
The word best used to describe their performance against Sandburg at the Hinsdale South Tournament was solid.
Benet easily handled an Eagles squad with five new starters, 56-34.
"We were sluggish in the second and third quarters," Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. "We need to play better Friday and Saturday. By no means are we satisfied with how we played. But for the first game out, working in some new pieces, I thought it was solid."
Benet jumped out to a 20-7 lead after a quarter and never looked back from there. Despite only outscoring Sandburg 19-15 in the second and third quarters combined, the Redwings were never threatened and cruised to the win.
"That was the plan from the get-go," said Benet senior center Frank Kaminsky, who opened his season with an 18-point, 10-rebound effort. "We knew we were the better team coming in, but you still have to respect your opponent. We came out and got off to a great start."
It wasn't Kaminsky or Northwestern-bound point guard David Sobolewski that fueled the hot start, however. Rather, it was the third of Benet's returning all-conference players, Matt Parisi. Parisi hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter, scoring 11 total in the period, before finishing with 16 points.
"Matt (Parisi) is very good and he's playing real well right now," Heidkamp said. "Obviously, having two high-level college players, Matt sometimes falls under the radar, but he doesn't fall under the radar for us. He's a kid who was an all-conference player as a junior and made some huge shots for us last year. We expect him to play well. It wasn't a surprise to us. He gave us a big energy boost early in the game."
Sobolewski battled some foul trouble and hit only 1-of-4 free throws in a 10-point effort. But Heidkamp says that the numbers don't necessarily reflect Sobolewski's performance.
"I thought he played fairly solid," Heidkamp said. "It wasn't his best game, but he did what we needed him to do. He controlled the game. As far as guards go, there aren't many guys on the floor at his level. He wasn't in a great flow, but I'm content with how he played."
The Redwings get two days off before finishing off tournament play Friday against Hinsdale Central and Saturday against the host Hornets.
"We played well, but there are some things that we need to work on," Kaminsky said. "It was a solid win. We'll go to practice and work on everything."