Barret Benson is just a sophomore who is still growing into his large frame. The Hinsdale South big-man can dominate a game at times and carry his team.
He did just that in the first semi-final game of the 86th annual Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament at DeKalb on Thursday night by leading his team to a 54-48 victory over West Chicago.
“Since the beginning of the season, he’s gotten good at burying his guy underneath the basket,’’ Hinsdale coach Brett Moore said. “Once he sheds his babyfat and gets lean, he will be so explosive underneath.’’
Benson scored 21 points along with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots but most of that came in the first half as the 6-9 post player still learns the game. He scored 15 in the first half and was keeping Hinsdale (10-3) close after West Chicago (8-6) held an early 11-4 lead. Benson would get the ball in the post with three smaller defenders usually collapsed around him and would use his height and footwork to score.
“They collapsed on Barret and it left everything open outside,’’ Hornets guard Larry Motuzis said. ``Coach just told me to be more aggressive and stop being so laid-back.’’
Motuzis took those words to heart and scored nine second quarter points to aid Benson and help Hinsdale to a 34-26 halftime lead. The senior guard was held scoreless in the first quarter but came on to finish with 16 points.
“Those two are on the top of everyone’s board on who to stop when teams play us,’’ Moore said. “When they are good, they make the whole team better.’’
Jon Konchar led West Chicago with 17 but was sitting on the bench for much of the second quarter in foul trouble. He drilled a three with 2:31 left to play but that’s as close as the Wildcats would come when Benson stymied the threat with a basket in the post.