GIRLS BASKETBALL
Five times can be a charm for some … at least for the Riverside Brookfield girls basketball program.

The Bulldogs (18-7 overall, 8-0 Metro Suburban conference) clinched their fifth straight conference championship in style with an 84-42 trouncing of Ridgewood on Friday night. It was the Bulldogs’ eighth straight victory this season, and, not to be out-done, the sophomore squad also claimed a conference championship.

“It really is an amazing feat, considering we graduated two of the greatest players in RB history in Maggie McCloskey and Erin Pfieffer,” said RB coach Larry Rocco. “It is a tremendous credit to the girls on the team this year. They have shown great dedication throughout the season and they have been rewarded for all of their hard work.”

Against Ridgewood, the Bulldogs leapt to an early 19-2 lead after one period, only to keep the torrid scoring pace in the second frame, cruising to a 42-16 lead by the half. The Bulldogs closed their regular-season home game by amassing the most points of the season. Sarah Straight paced the Bulldogs with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Colleen Hartman notched 15 points, her career best. Katelyn McCloskey added 13 points, while Melissa Anderson chipped in nine.

The Bulldogs have one more regular season game remaining against Fenton, and Rocco’s goal is obvious-finish the conference season with no blemishes. After Fenton, the Bulldogs then set their sites on the regional championship. The two-time defending regional champs will host both the regional and sectional for the second year in a row. RB is seeded seventh and will face Prosser (seeded 10th) from the Chicago Public League. If the Bulldogs prevail, they will most likely face No. 2-seed Proviso East in the regional final. The winner of that game will then compete again at RB in the sectional portion of the tournament.

“We have one more conference game against Fenton next Friday and I would really like us to win out,” Rocco said. “We really would like to finish the conference strong heading into regional. As for the regional, we are up against Prosser and we will have our work cut out. We don’t know much about them, but they are 23-2. Still, I think we have a great group of girls and I think this team can go far.”

In non-conference action on Saturday, the Bulldogs dismantled Leyden 76-40. Katelyn McCloskey’s 20 points made her RB’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,441 career points. Former Bulldog and current Loyola University guard Maggie McCloskey holds the top spot with 1,906 points.