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Lenee Beaumont’s father, Mike, played college basketball at Carroll with Waukesha West coach Mark Busalacchi.
Busalacchi had seen film of Beaumont, a junior guard for Benet, but the live version was even better.
“She’s as good a player as we’ve seen this year,” Busalacchi said of Beaumont. “She’s got it all. She’s super smooth and big. She’s got the full game and can score at all levels.”
In front of a crowd that included a couple dozen college coaches, Beaumont was all that and more Monday at the Coach Kipp’s Hoopfest hosted by Benet in Lisle.
The 6-foot Beaumont scored a game-high 16 points to go with four rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Redwings in a 56-30 victory over their Wisconsin opponent.
Beaumont and Maggie Sularski, a sophomore guard, relish the few chances they get to play out-of-state opponents. Sularski shot 5 of 6 and added 12 points for Benet (17-2).
Out of state or not, Beaumont confirmed that didn’t change a thing for her — or her teammates.
“We need to prepare for them the way we prepare for any other team,” she said. “Everyone is out to beat us. Our name is out there, so we’ve got to make sure we’re locked in.”
They were. Beaumont, who has nearly three dozen Division I offers, scored four points and assisted on two baskets by Navy-bound center Morgan Demos during an opening 10-0 run.
Waukesha West (10-5) never got closer than seven points after that.
“It was great to see us get off to that lead right away,” Beaumont said. “Everyone is stepping up and playing their role, which is great because we don’t have many games like that where we don’t see film.
“Usually before every game, coach (Joe) Kilbride has us study film and tells us about each player, their strengths and weaknesses. But today was more just going out, playing and adjusting. And I think we did a good job of that.”
Indeed, Beaumont demonstrated that by slicing through the lane to score several baskets, creating her own shot under pressure. She even pushed one short shot into the basket with two hands.
The Wolverines stayed within striking distance, trailing 25-14 at halftime. Beaumont then scored eight points, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers, as the Redwings dominated the third quarter with an 18-2 surge.
Benet’s starters, including Beaumont and Sularski, sat out the fourth.
“In the second half, we kind of took over,” Sularski said. “We were focusing on our rebounds because they were a bigger team, so we wanted to get those rebounds and get through their cuts and screens.”
Junior forward Samantha Trimberger led that effort with a game-high eight rebounds. Demos added eight points and seven rebounds. Margaret Temple and Emma Webb each had three steals.
“I thought that was the key,” Kilbride said. “We did a nice job early and kind of had them in a spot. In the second quarter, I thought we kind of let them back in.
“We could have put them away and didn’t, so I told them we need to really need to lock in (then) in the third. I thought the girls did a great job.”
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Beaumont was unaware of her father’s connection to Busalacchi until the three spoke after the game.
“I had no clue at all,” Beaumont said. “He’s a really nice guy.”
While Busalacchi was disappointed with the loss, he enjoyed coaching against Beaumont.
“It was neat,” Busalacchi said. “I’ve known her father for 30 years now, so I kind of knew who she was.
“She’s a special player. We’ve got some really good players up there in Wisconsin, but she’s right up there with all of them.”
Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.