Home Sports As its 3-game losing streak shows, Benet’s not at 100% when Samantha Trimberger isn’t. ‘But I’m here to give it my all.’

As its 3-game losing streak shows, Benet’s not at 100% when Samantha Trimberger isn’t. ‘But I’m here to give it my all.’

by staff

Benet senior center Samantha Trimberger has been feeling under the weather lately.

The Redwings are hoping she gets over it soon because they’re at a big disadvantage when their only true post player is not on the court.

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“She is vital because she is our rim protector,” Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. “She’s a very good rebounder, and she’s a good passer. We need her to be that presence at the rim for us on both ends.”

The 6-foot Trimberger’s presence was missing at the outset of the Redwings’ 37-32 East Suburban Catholic Conference loss to Nazareth in La Grange Park on Wednesday. Kilbride wanted to give Trimberger some rest, so he opted not to start her.

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By the time Trimberger entered the game with 2:26 left in the first quarter, the Roadrunners led 14-2. Benet’s loss snapped its 40-game regular-season conference winning streak that dated to Jan. 20, 2017.

“She couldn’t practice yesterday, so I wasn’t going to start her,” Kilbride said. “She said she felt OK in warmups, so we gave her a shot, and I thought she did OK.”

Indeed, the Redwings (11-5, 3-1) actually outscored the Roadrunners (15-1, 3-0) in each of the final three quarters. Trimberger made her last three shots and finished with six points, four steals and three rebounds.

“I wish I could have practiced yesterday, but I’m here to give it my all in everything I can,” Trimberger said. “I wish I had more energy, but when I get healthy, I can bring that back.”

Staying healthy has been tough for the Redwings. This is Trimberger’s second bout of illness.

“Apparently, she’s going to the germ mall or something,” Kilbride said. “She’s had a good year, but she’s struggled with a couple in a row now. She just needs to get well. After that, it will be fine.”

Trimberger looked fine in the second half. She scored twice off feeds from Indiana-bound star Lenee Beaumont, showcasing her perseverance.

“When I’m not converting early, I’ve just got to stay confident with it because it’s not going to do any good for my team if I get down on myself,” Trimberger said. “And Lenee is doing a really good job of finding me with those passes. It’s really helpful when she can do that.”

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Beaumont led all players with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Her 3-pointer with 1:17 remaining in the fourth quarter cut Nazareth’s lead to five points, but neither team scored after that.

The loss gave Benet its first three-game losing streak under Kilbride, whose record is 220-32 in nine seasons.

“We definitely don’t want a fourth one in a row, so everything is building up to the end of the season,” Trimberger said. “Even though we’re losing, it’s showing us what we need to work on and get better at so we can be prepared later for those games down the stretch.”

Benet’s Lenee Beaumont, right, tries to drive past Nazareth’s Mary Bridget Wilson during a game in La Grange Park on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

The Redwings trust Trimberger to be prepared.

“I love Sam not only as my teammate but as a person,” Beaumont said. “She left school early today to take a nap to try to make sure she could play. That’s just the type of person she is. She’s willing to do anything, whether that’s score the ball or do the little things that we need to win.”

That’s not Trimberger’s only quality.

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“She’s a great student of the game too,” Beaumont said. “She knows what’s going on at all times. We read each other’s minds at times, so I trust her with everything.”

Trimberger is being entrusted with a much bigger role this season. She played alongside current Navy freshman Morgan Demos last season, and she’s averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

“I have big shoes to fill, obviously, but it’s been a good challenge for me, and I’ve enjoyed it,” said Trimberger, who will not play college basketball. “Last year I wasn’t necessarily someone that was supposed to score all the time. This year I’ve really stepped into that role as well as trying to get everybody else energized.”

Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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