By Scott Schmid
For the Bugle
The disappointment of Friday’s 64-55 loss to Wheaton North in the York Class 4A regional final will no doubt resonate a bit for the Benet boys basketball team.
But after that feeling starts to dissipate, the Redwings and their outstanding senior class will be able to look back and see just how much they have accomplished over the past couple of seasons.
On 54 occasions over the last two years, the squad has walked off the floor victorious, including the previous nine games heading into the matchup against the sixth-seeded Falcons.
One defeat won’t put a damper on that.
“This senior class has done so much for our program,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “They have done amazing things. And the reality is, they have a lot to be proud of. They have accomplished so much. Ten years from now we will be talking about this group and what they meant to the program.
“This year we finished 23-7 and we played an unbelievable schedule. I believe eight or nine teams we beat have won 20 games.”
Against Wheaton North, Benet struggled from the perimeter in the early stages and trailed 23-16 at halftime. But the Redwings fought back and after seven straight points by Jack Nolan, they took a 29-28 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
The Falcons responded with a 6-2 run to close the period and then made 20-of-22 free throws in the fourth to close it out.
“The bottom line is, we lost to a very good team,” Nolan said. “They outplayed us in a lot of facets. Every time we came at them with a run, they answered.”
Nolan led all scorers with 21 points, 19 of which came in the second half. Liam Lyman knocked down a trio of three-pointers and scored 11. Matthew Teglia had eight points and Justin Enochs chipped in with seven.
“It’s been a tremendous honor playing with all these guys,” Nolan said, “and for Coach Heidkamp and the entire coaching staff. These have been the best years of my life. It’s been a ton of fun and we should all be very proud of what we have accomplished the last two years. It’s been really special.”
The nine-member senior class includes Nolan, Enochs, Teglia and Lyman along with Matthew Bollman, Andrew Kickel, Ryan Liszka, Brian Batina and Dan Veselik.
“Last year was a Cinderella story,” Heidkamp said, “and this year, we weren’t able to go as far as we wanted. That’s high school sports. We are disappointed but after the dust settles, they will be very proud of all they accomplished. It was a great run for our guys.”