A misunderstanding about which team would be the home team forced Benet to wear red jerseys with white shorts in the Redwings’ regional opener Wednesday. The uniform switch meant Benet’s Emily Schramek had to wear jersey No. 40 instead of her customary No. 4.
Maybe the number switch confused Lockport’s defense, because the Porters rarely found the 6-foot junior in the first half, and Schramek made them pay.
Schramek buried her first four three-point attempts and hit five from distance overall before taking a seat in the third quarter as Benet (20-9) defeated Lockport 63-29 at the Class 4A East Aurora Regional.
Schramek, who finished with 17 points, said a team rule change at Christmas has helped the Redwings become a better team.
“At the beginning of the season, our shots weren’t always on,” Schramek said. “So the coach [Peter Paul] enforced a new rule: The ball had to touch the paint first before you shot a three-pointer. I think it helped us become a better team.
“Now we look for the better shot instead of just settling for the three,” she added. “At the beginning [of the new rule], it was kind of like, ‘What can we do? What can’t we do?’ But now, this is the best the team has ever been.”
Benet scored the first 12 points of the game, six on Schramek three-pointers, before junior Jamari McAfee got the Porters (10-16) on the board. But Schramek answered with another three-pointer to extend the lead to 15-2 with 4:09 remaining in the quarter.
Benet pushed the lead to 33-13 on an Emily Eshoo three-pointer with 3:18 left in the first half, and cleared the bench after two Sheila Doyle free throws made it 48-28 with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
Eden Olson and freshman Kate Jaseckas each had eight points for Benet, which also got seven points from Eshoo and six from Doyle.
Kianna Campbell led the Porters with 10 points, McAfee added nine and Destiny Hollins added six free throws.
“I think the big lead demoralized them a little,” Paul said. “Schramek was on fire. She didn’t miss a shot. That gave us the opportunity to do well. Looking in the paint before you take the outside shot has kind of been our motto the second half of the season. That helped us today.”