At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds Riverside-Brookfield center Terrence Reed’s role is clear cut: Rebound, block shots and defend. He performed his role to a T (pun intended), collecting 10 rebounds, three blocks and playing fierce defense during the Bulldogs’ 58-49 victory over Fenton on Friday night. And the affable center can do something else pretty well too.
“I can score but a lot of people don’t know that,” said Reed with a laugh after the game.
On RB’s Faculty Night, Reed gave the visiting Bison a lesson in efficient post play, scoring 14 points off an array of inside moves and putbacks. Senior guards Sean McGonagill (team-high 18 points) and Billy VandeMerkt (13 points, 4 assists) provided perimeter support for Reed against a scrappy Fenton squad, while junior Ryan Jackson chipped in 10 points.
Trailing the Bison 8-7 early, McGonagill scored four consecutive baskets to put RB (13-2, 5-0 Metro Suburban Conference) up 13-8 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, it was VandeMerkt’s turn to carry the offensive load as the Bulldogs’ three-sport star tallied nine points. After a block by Reed, VandeMerkt took an outlet pass and raced down court for a layup to put RB up 23-15 with 2:51 remaining until halftime.
“We made our runs but we also made mistakes,” McGonagill said. “That gave Fenton a chance to knock down shots and make plays. Every conference team is coming to beat us because we have been conference champs for the past nine years. It’s going to be hard for us to go undefeated [in conference], but we have to work hard if we want to do it.”
Trailing 45-33 early in the fourth quarter, the Bison made a final push. Forward Daniel Montano nailed a three-pointer and a midrange jumper to make the score 45-38 at the 4:30 mark. Reed answered with a timely three-point play and the Bulldogs sank 10-of-11 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
“We tried to wear them out with our running style,” Reed said. “We knew they couldn’t run with us. They got tired at the end of the game.”
The victory marked RB head coach Tom McCloskey’s 200th win over 14 seasons at RB. Overall, the veteran coach, typically adorned with a tie and suspenders during games, has amassed 277 victories in 18 years as a head coach.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs consolidated their conference victory with an impressive 80-69 win over Seton at the Martin Luther King Dream Classic hosted by Whitney Young.
McGonagill netted a game-high 23 points to spark the Bulldogs past the defending Class 2A State Champion Sting. Jackson (17 points), Reed (15 points) and VandeMerkt (14 points) also contributed for RB.