If the Riverside-Brookfield boys basketball team goes on to win its 10th-straight conference championship, Bulldogs fans should remember Friday, Dec. 17 as a positive step toward revisiting Metro Conference Titletown.

Riverside-Brookfield edged Timothy Christian 62-59 on said date thanks to the Bulldogs’ solid defense, rebounding and timely free throws in the fourth quarter. With the victory, RB (6-1, 2-0 Metro Suburban Conference) remains perfect in conference play while also erasing the memory of a loss to the Trojans last season

“Two years in a row, we have had a tough time [at Timothy Christian],” RB coach Tom McCloskey said. “We’re just happy to come out with a win.”

Although RB shot a relatively low percentage from the field (42 percent), Nate Hanley came up big for the Bulldogs with a trio of three-pointers in the second half. Hanley and Charlie Morrissey sealed the deal, making 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute of the game. Ryan Jackson led RB with 17 points and six rebounds, and Hanley scored 15.

“We kept our poise,” Jackson said. “It was a close game and Timothy Christian played well. We missed a lot of shots, but we made some big free throws down the stretch to hold them off.”

While Jackson and Hanley combined for over half of the Bulldogs’ points, it was hardly just a tag-team effort. Six-foot-9 center Alex Dziagwa had nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, while invaluable swingman Watoris Slater posted eight points and seven boards.

Mike Pizzello (17 points, 6 rebounds) and Dan Leach (13 points, 6 rebounds) paced Timothy Christian (5-4, 1-2).

Trailing 62-59, the Trojans’ Mark Penczak launched a game-tying trey attempt that fell just short of the rim.

Up next for the Bulldogs is the 37th Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York. Lyons Township knocked off RB 65-47 in the championship game last year; however, the Bulldogs blasted LT 79-55 in a regular season meeting this season.

Both teams could be back in the title mix along with a loaded field featuring Maine South, Oswego, Downers Grove South, St. Ignatius, Brother Rice and York. Illinois recruit Nnanna Egwu (St. Ignatius), sharpshooter Nick Zeisloft (Lyons), 6-4 forward Garrett O’Neil (Brother Rice), and 6-6 center Matt Palucki (Maine South) promise a cavalcade of stars.

“A lot of quality teams play in this tournament,” said Jackson, who has committed to Lewis University. “Our goal is probably the same as every other team at Tosh: win it all.”

The Bulldogs face Wheaton Warrenville South on Dec. 27 (4 p.m.) in the Green/White gym. Illinois football recruit Reilly O’Toole, who led the Tigers to a second straight Class 7A State Championship during the fall, also headlines the WW South hoops squad.

“Everything starts with Reilly so we’ll need to contain him,” McCloskey said.