The Riverside Brookfield girls basketball team kept its conference undefeated streak untarnished with a hard-fought 44-37 overtime victory against Lemont in front of a rowdy crowd on hand for “Pack the Place Night” in Riverside on Friday. But it wasn’t such an easy task.
The Bulldogs (15-3, 6-0 Suburban Prairie East) were forced to step up their play when leading scorer Maggie McCloskey was double-teamed. An early 4-0 RB lead dwindled quickly, and Lemont went into halftime up 16-15.
The Bulldogs rallied in the third quarter on a Katelyn McCloskey three-pointer, and accurate free-throw shooting by both McCloskeys led to a 30-30 tie at the end of regulation.
Katelyn’s field goal put RB up to start the overtime, but it was Regan Riley (6 rebounds) coming off the bench that gave the Bulldogs a lift. After senior center Erin Pfieffer came up with a monstrous block on a three-point attempt, Riley, a freshman, hauled in a key rebound to give RB possession in the closing seconds. Maggie, who finished with 13 points to go along with Katelyn’s 13, closed out the win by nailing six straight free throws.
“Regan’s contribution was huge for us,” said RB coach Larry Rocco. “She came in and played aggressively throughout the game.”
Rocco said he liked the way other players on the team stepped up when his star player, Maggie McCloskey, was being double-teamed.
“The rest of the team kept its composure even when things got physical,” he said. “I was real impressed with that.”
Maggie also dished out six assists, while Katelyn hauled in eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Pfieffer tallied 12 rebounds and eight points. Kristen Zeleny chipped in four points and two steals.
Things don’t look to letup much for RB as the team travels to Fenton for a SPC showdown on Friday night (7 p.m.). Fenton is also undefeated in the conference at 6-0.
Rocco said he expects to see another physical matchup.
“[Fenton] is very tough, has a good defense, a great post player, and we won’t be taking them lightly,” he said. “It’s going to be quite a game. And if they try and do the same thing Lemont did, we’ll be ready for them.”