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Published: Saturday, 12/10/2005

Eagles thump Stritch in key TAAC match

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Toledo Christian senior forward Kyle Bensch goes up for a shot in last night's victory over Cardinal Stritch. Bensch finished with 14 points. Toledo Christian senior forward Kyle Bensch goes up for a shot in last night's victory over Cardinal Stritch. Bensch finished with 14 points.
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The Toledo Christian boys basketball team could do no wrong in whipping Cardinal Stritch 68-31 last night.

In the first quarter the Eagles made shots from the outside; in the second they crashed the offensive boards. Then in the third period they held the Cardinals without a field goal.

In the fourth quarter? Well, the Eagles didn't have to do much because they already held a 54-18 advantage in the teams' Toledo Area Athletic Conference opener. Both are 2-1 overall.

"Stritch is a great team, and they're going to have a lot of success this year," TC coach Dave McWhinnie said. "In my wildest dreams I wouldn't have thought the score could have been what it was. I know it will be tough the next time we play them. This was just one of those nights when things clicked for us."

Four players hit treys in the opening period for the Eagles as they used an 11-0 run midway through the quarter to build an 18-6 advantage.

"We got off to a quick start, and we gained a lot of confidence," McWhinnie said. "We executed everything well, played smart and made a lot of great decisions, and weren't selfish at all."

In the second quarter Toledo Christian got nine points from Kyle Bensch and six more from Jacob Weemes and boosted the lead to 33-14.

Then in the third quarter the Eagles held the Cardinals without a field goal, outscoring Stritch 21-4 to push the advantage to 54-18.

"We were 0-for-16 in the third quarter [from the field], and were 11-for-49 from the field [for the game]," Stritch coach Jim Sheehy said. "You're not going to win playing that way."

The Cardinals were also 8 of 22 from the free throw line.

"They outplayed us," Sheehy said. "They took it to us."

Weemes, who was slowed in the preseason by an ankle injury, finished with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Seven of those boards came on the offensive end for the 6-2 senior, who was sporting a shiner just under his left eye after taking an elbow in the face against Evergreen Tuesday.

"It's really a team effort," Weemes said of his team's 12 offensive rebounds. "When guys get a shot off, we encourage each other to get in position and crash the boards."

Weemes also played a key role in shutting out Stritch's Garrett Petty, who had 15 points in the Cardinals' season-opening win over Clay.

"Defensively the coaches encouraged me to play tough and keep him from getting the ball on the low block," Weemes said. "If he does get the ball down there, he's a lot more difficult to stop."

Bensch finished with 14 points for Toledo Christian, while Blake Powell added 12.

Eric McCloskey and Michael Ameling topped Stritch with seven each.

"It's very frustrating," Sheehy said of the loss. "We had a big win over Clay, and then we beat a fine [Tiffin] Calvert team. Then we come in here ...

"I don't know if we didn't get hyped up enough. But we got outplayed, we got outcoached, and we got outworked. We've got to let this roll off our back and come back at them Monday."

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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