While the actual Derrick Rose was busy answering questions at the Chicago Bulls Media Day, the Riverside-Brookfield boys basketball team simultaneously competed in his Shootout on Sunday against Public League powerhouse Farragut at Collins High School.
Despite an off-shooting afternoon across the board – RB shot 26-of-75 from the field, 8-for-13 free throws – the Bulldogs (5-3) stayed within striking distance of the Admirals before falling 67-55 in an intriguing match-up.
“I think playing an excellent team like Farragut is a tremendous experience for our players,” RB coach Tom McCloskey said. “[RB center] Mike Ljuboja had an outstanding game and [RB guard] Luke Nortier did a great job defensively against Rashaun Stimage, one of the best players in the state.”
Ljuboja made his presence felt in the paint, recording a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds, while the Bulldogs’ talented tandem of guards Damonta Henry and Nortier scored 15 points apiece. Louis Marino chipped in six points and seven boards for the Bulldogs.
Farragut outscored RB 23-19 in the third quarter to build a 47-39 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Admirals’ 6-foot-8 Rashaun Stimage (19 points, 9 rebounds) scored 12 points, including a run of 10 straight points to secure the win. Lavell Boyd contributed 17 points for the Admirals.
The Bulldogs also lost to Providence 64-49 last week. After RB took an early 20-14 lead, the Celtics took control the rest of the way highlighted by a 12-2 spurt in the third quarter. Like the Farragut game, RB struggled shooting the ball (17-for-60 two-point field goals, 6-for-24 three-pointers) and committed more turnovers than assists.
RB will look to regain its winning form at home against Timothy Christian on Friday (7 p.m.) in Metro Suburban Conference action. The night will also feature an RB alumni game.
“We’ve had some battles with Timothy Christian in the past,” McCloskey said. “They are well-coached and have a good scorer in Danny Leach, so we need to be ready to play well and take care of business.”
During the holidays, the Bulldogs will make their annual trek to the prestigious Jack Tosh Holiday Classic, hosted by York beginning Dec. 27.