A pair of wins over the weekend is sitting well with the Riverside-Brookfield boys' basketball team.
The Bulldogs finished the first half of their Suburban Prairie East slate with an 80-63 win over Fenton on Friday to improve to 4-0 in conference. RB followed that with a 60-48 non-conference win on Saturday against Nazareth Academy.
RB got down to business early Friday night by dropping 23 first-quarter points on the Bison. The Bulldogs would go to the intermission with a 43-28 lead and cruised from there.
"Friday we may have played our best game of the year," RB coach Tom McCloskey said. "We jumped out fast in the first quarter. I thought they were a big team, but we did a good job on the glass rebounding. In the third quarter, the offense didn't move the ball as well as it should have, but it was still an excellent ball game."
Four Bulldogs reached double figures Friday, led by Alex Devaris and his 26 points. Mike Halusek and Tyler Kos each scored 16 points and Chris Parrish added 14.
"You have to like that," McCloskey said of the balanced attack. "Our shooters shot well and our inside players got the job done. You have to put a lot of things together to score 80 points, and we did that."
RB had a rougher start in Saturday's game against Nazareth Academy. The Roadrunners were successful at limiting the Bulldog offense, and took a 31-25 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs (9-6) still trailed 42-41 to start the fourth quarter, but outscored Nazareth 20-6 in the fourth quarter as RB's defense helped spark its offense.
"We struggled in the first half offensively, and at the same time they were very patient on offense," McCloskey said. "They took time off the clock with their possessions. But defensively, we did a good job in the fourth quarter to hold them to only six points."
Devaris again led the Bulldogs with 25 points while Halusek scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Kos scored eight and had nine boards and Jon Baldermann finished with nine points and seven rebounds off the bench. Parrish added six points to go along with six assists.
RB now sits a game in front of Westmont (11-7, 3-1), a team the Bulldogs beat 71-62 earlier this season.
Fenton is now two games back at 2-2, followed by Ridgewood (1-3) and Elmwood Park (0-4).
"Westmont has an explosive offense and Fenton is good at their place," McCloskey said. "They'll all be gunning for us since we've won the conference the last three years. We know that right now we just have to be ready."
RB travels to Ridgewood on Friday to try to tighten its conference grip. Elmwood Park and Westmont will have to come to RB in the second half, and the Bulldogs will travel to Fenton for their last game before the IHSA playoffs begin.
"Conference is always our top goal and right now we want to concentrate on that and putting wins together," McCloskey said. "We want to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season. We do that, and we believe all our hard work will pay off."