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The Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team’s bid for a sectional title fell short with a 71-43 loss to St. Joseph last week.

Octavia Brown (19 points, 6 steals) and Briya Wilborn (16 points, 6 steals) led the Chargers, who went on a 30-11 run in the fourth quarter to break a tight contest wide open.

“The score wasn’t indicative of the game,” said RB coach Larry Rocco. “We had the right game plan, but we hadn’t seen their kind of quickness since Christmas against Lincoln Park.”

The Bulldogs kept it close in the first half, trailing 24-18 at the break.

Senior center Kelsey Egger capped off an excellent career at RB (16-15) by posting 13 points and 12 rebounds. Maggie Zeleny and Kiley Rusen scored seven points apiece, while Danielle Peco chipped in six points.

The sectional final loss didn’t diminish the Bulldogs’ surge in the second half of the season, which was highlighted by 10 wins in their last 14 games, including a regional title.

“This was a great group of kids,” Rocco said. “They played hard, worked together and were very coachable. I’m really proud of their improvement over the course of the season.”

The Bulldogs advanced to the sectional final by way of a thrilling 53-52 victory over rival Nazareth. Trailing the Roadrunners 52-51 with six seconds remaining, the Bulldogs drew up a play that left their top three-point shooter Danielle Peco open on the wing. Peco shot an air ball, but Megan Orgler caught it and scored on a layup at the buzzer, lifting the Bulldogs to victory.

“It was awesome,” said Orgler of the putback. “There were not many seconds left. It was a big surprise. [Larry] Rocco purposefully set me up on the opposite side of Danielle [Peco] just in case there was a rebound. I was worried there might not be enough time left, but I didn’t hear the buzzer so I thought I got the shot off in time.”

Egger led the Bulldogs with 17 points in that win. Orgler had eight points and seven rebounds, and Rusen scored 11 points. Trailing the Roadrunners 51-46 with 30 seconds left, Rusen nailed a clutch three-pointer and Egger added a basket to pull within 52-51. After Nazareth, which shot 5-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, missed a pair from the charity stripe, RB finished its incredible comeback via Orgler’s basket.

“When Kiley made [that] three-pointer, I think we regained the momentum,” Zeleny said. “Then, Meghan made that huge shot. Everybody was so excited; it was an unbelievable feeling.”

The Bulldogs will lose five players to graduation. Those expected back include Orgler, Rusen, Peco and Elena Duve.