A dream scenario ended in nightmarish fashion for the Riverside-Brookfield boys basketball team against Marshall in the Class 3A Sectional semifinals last week. With the host Bulldogs clinging to a 49-46 lead with three seconds left in the game, the Commandos’ Marlon Sykes sank an improbable half-court shot to shockingly send the game into overtime.

In overtime, Keifer Sykes finished off the Commandos’ 56-54 comeback victory when he sank a game-winning 15-foot step-back jumper with three seconds left on the clock.

“It was a great game,” RB coach Tom McCloskey said. “We executed offensively and our defense was outstanding, but it’s still a heartbreaking loss.”

Marshall moved on to win the RB Sectional by knocking off Crane 78-63 in the championship game on Friday.

As the No. 5 sectional seed, RB (22-6) appeared in a good winning position against the top-seeded Commandos, leading 44-38 with 2:34 left in regulation before Marshall rallied to force overtime.

A key play of the game occurred when RB guard Sean McGonagill was fouled with three seconds left in regulation. Although the Brown-bound guard calmly made both free throws to extend the Bulldogs lead to 49-46, the Commandos regained possession, setting up their game-tying shot well beyond the arc.

“I watched the film several times and I don’t think there was a foul committed on Sean,” McCloskey said. “We executed extremely well during the last four minutes of regulation, but Marshall got the ball back and hit a miracle shot. In the overtime, Keifer Sykes made big plays for them.”

Ryan Jackson scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down seven rebounds for RB.

“Ryan had a tremendous offensive game, and he played well in other areas,” McCloskey said.

McGonagill added 14 points and four rebounds and Watoris Slater had eight points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Despite a tough end to their season, the Bulldogs enjoyed another successful run this year by racking up 22 victories, a Metro Suburban Conference title, and a runner-up finish to LT at the prestigious Jack Tosh Holiday Classic. The Bulldogs, who finished 9-1 in the Metro Suburban, have now won nine straight conference championships.

In terms of personal milestones, McCloskey passed 200 wins and McGonagill 1,000 points at RB this season. McGonagill (22 points per game), Billy VandeMerkt, Terrance Reed and five other seniors all graduate this year.

“Sean has done a lot for our program,” McCloskey said. “He and Billy have won 62 games. Terrance Reed had a great year as a defensive force and shot blocker for us.”