If the Riverside Brookfield girls basketball team wants to let off some steam after falling to Buffalo Grove 72-48 on Dec. 13, and then more recently to Marist 77-38, then the Bulldogs should look no further than the Morton College Minuteman Holiday Classic.

The tournament, which kicked off Monday (after holiday deadline) and goes on through Thursday, features such teams as Hinsdale South, Proviso West, and Addison Trail. But the main headliner is RB, who played Addison Trail and Morton on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. It’s likely the 9-2 Bulldogs will end up in the title game to be held Thursday night in Vais Gymnasium at Morton College (7:30 p.m.).

RB crushed Addison Trail 70-23 to start the season, and none of the opponents participating in this tournament are ranked in the top 20. The team boasts Maggie McCloskey, Katelyn McCloskey, and Erin Pfieffer, three stellar offensive weapons. Maggie is a three-point phenom. The four-year varsity starter recently set three school records?” most points in a game (44), most field goals in a game (17) and most points in a career (1446)?”during her team’s win over Elmwood Park on Dec. 16. She also nailed 10 three-pointers in a 49-46 win over Lemont on Nov. 29. Maggie is currently leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 23 points per game.

Maggie’s cousin, Katelyn, isn’t so bashful about scoring either. She consistently scores in double digits, while Pfieffer racks up double-doubles in points and rebounds.

The Bulldogs should roll through the Minuteman Holiday Classic with ease. The only thing that could stop them is the lingering sting from the loss to Buffalo Grove and Marist, both highly ranked teams. RB, which tallied 95 points in a trouncing of Ridgewood a few weeks ago, deserves some recognition in the rankings. Unfortunately, it may have to wait until 2006.

Tough tourney for LT

The Lyons Township boys b-ball team will have its hands full at the 32nd Annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic being held at York High School in Elmhurst this week.

The Lions opened against Benet yesterday (Tuesday), and eventually could face such teams as Wheaton-Warrenville South, Downers Grove South, and their West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe York, the host. LT went into the tournament with a mediocre 5-4 overall record, while York was riding an undefeated mark of 8-0.

There’s also the possibility of running into area-rival Riverside Brookfield. The Bulldogs handed LT a 73-59 loss on Dec. 3. The Lions allowed four players to score in double digits in that loss.

The Jack Tosh Holiday Classic runs through Friday.

Former LT soccer star dies

Just five days before her 23rd birthday, former Lyons soccer star Jenna Johnson died Dec. 18 of an apparent heart attack while training for a marathon in California. The midfielder/defender led the Lions to four sectional titles during her four-year varsity career (1997-2001).

In 2000, she recorded 26 goals and 18 assists to help Lyons advance to the state quarterfinals.

Johnson, who concluded her high school campaign with 66 goals and 59 assists, continued her career at Miami, selecting the Hurricanes over Notre Dame and Arizona State. Johnson was working for the George Lopez Show in Los Angeles, and as an assistant soccer coach for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, an all girls boarding school.