The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Benedict Breaks 20-Year LHS Record as No. 1 Owls Surpass No. 8 Bulldogs

Benedict+Breaks+20-Year+LHS+Record+as+No.+1+Owls+Surpass+No.+8+Bulldogs
Sean Strohofer

Over the February break, the No. 1 Lynbrook varsity girl Owls won big against the No. 8 Island Trees Bulldogs in a quarterfinals matchup with an impressive score of 68-23. However, this was not any ordinary quarterfinals game for junior Kaitlyn Benedict, as she had an astonishing 24 points in 8 total three-pointers, officially, according to head coach Koren Pena, beating the previous school record of 7 for most three-pointers in a game. Benedict explained, “When I hit the eighth shot, I was filled with joy, and I was genuinely proud of the way I’ve shaped as a player since my early childhood.” Likewise, to Benedict’s initial reaction, Pena responded, “When she hit that eighth three-pointer to break the record, I was so happy for her. Her breaking the record in a home playoff game definitely made that moment even more exciting. I just remember how electric the gym felt.”

With this win, the Lynbrook Owls would be headed to the next round at Farmingdale State College to play against the No. 4 Wantagh Warriors in a highly anticipated semifinal matchup. In their previous battle, Benedict tallied three points, one assist, and four boards in a 45-41 Senior Night win.

With junior and starting point-guard Brooke Mazzei sustaining an unfortunate series of injuries throughout the season, Pena looked towards Benedict to fill the starting point guard vacancy for the Owls. “With Brooke injured for several games this year, I needed Kaitlyn to take on a much larger role as a primary ball-handler for the team, which is a role I don’t think she’s had too often in her high school career,” Pena explained. Although Benedict had never taken on the role as the primary ball handler, she did an exceptional job, becoming a critical asset in the Owls’ success this season. “She did it with grace, poise, and commitment. I was so proud of her for taking on that new responsibility. Her handling of the ball was critical for us to be successful this season,” Pena praised.

 Through the first two-quarters of the play, Benedict already hit four threes and was on pace to break the record. Pena commented, “I knew she was locked in and that she was on the path to achieving her goal which was to break the school record.” In addition to Pena, the whole gym was on the edge of its seats, engaged and invested with each three-point shot Benedict attempted. “Coming out of halftime, the team knew she needed three more to break the record and we all watched with anticipation as she took each shot,” Pena recalled.

Benedict’s performance was not just record-breaking; she also made a remarkable impact on the flow of the game and how the team gelled together. “I think my performance made the team feel more hyped about our game. We played together super well,” Benedict said.

Breaking a school record is extremely important to both Benedict’s present-day and childhood self. “Honestly, having the school record makes my inner child so happy. I’ve always dreamed of doing big things when it [came] to basketball, but I would have never thought one of those big things would be holding a school record, let alone breaking one that’s 20 years old.”

Benedict has high hopes for next season. “Next year, I hope the team will go to States. The team’s foundation has evolved so much this year and by next year, we’ll be even better and more experienced.” Benedict also has some personal goals of her own: “…Maybe I can even break my own record!”

Prior to her record-breaking performance this year, Benedict was in a similar situation during her sophomore season: “Last year, I tied the school record with seven threes. This year, Coach Pena and I knew I’d be able to break it fully,” Benedict explained. However, the outcomes were a little bit different this time, with Benedict finally finishing the job she started.

 Pena’s final remarks regarding Benedict’s performance and her as a player are worthy. “It was so exciting to be part of such a historic moment in [the] program[’s] history. She’s such a special player with an exceptional outside shot. It was the perfect day for her to accomplish her goal and a proud moment as a coach and to see her make history.” In the next round, the Owls would unfortunately fall at the hands of No. 4 Wantagh, but with much to build off of after Pena’s first year as head coach, Lynbrook will look to bounce back even stronger in Benedict’s senior season.

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About the Contributors
Daniella Inserra, Assistant Editor
My name is Daniella Inserra. I am a member of the Class of 2026 and sports editor for Horizon. I am also an active member of Key Club, S.K.I.P club, Varsity club, and Speech and Debate club. In my free time, I enjoy writing, playing sports, and socializing with my friends.
Sean Strohofer, Managing Editor
My name is Sean, and I am a member of the Class of 2025. I have a deep desire for sports and writing, so you might see me at sports events around town!