One unwelcomed scoring spurt by Proviso West essentially squashed the Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team’s bid to sweep its holiday tournament titles. Already owners of the Bill VandeMerkt Thanksgiving Tournament crown, the Bulldogs led the visiting Panthers 29-28 in the third quarter of the RB Holiday Classic Championship; however, Proviso West went on a 14-0 run to secure a 59-38 win on Friday.
The Panthers snapped the Bulldogs’ impressive string of 2011 hometown tourney wins at six.
“I thought it was a pretty good championship game,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “Proviso West had that one run which was the difference. Our fans were going crazy for us and there was a good vibe around the school [RB] all week.”
RB (10-3) set up its championship game showdown with Proviso West by notching victories over Lane Tech, 58-27, Reavis, 49-29, and Argo, 55-41. Of those three matchups, Argo threatened the Bulldogs the most in a see-saw battle that offered multiple momentum swings.
RB seized an early 11-2 advantage before the Argonauts answered with an 8-2 spurt to whittle the deficit to 13-10 in the second quarter. Meghan Orgler scored the Bulldogs’ final six points of the first half to fuel a 28-14 lead at the break. Argo rallied again with a 17-7 run to make the score 35-31 late in the third quarter. RB took its final turn with a 10-0 offensive flurry, triggered by Brittney JnoBaptiste’s six points, to build a 45-31 lead en route to victory.
“We have to learn how to finish [games],” Till said after the Argo game. “It’s good for us to be tested this way.”
Junior Hannah Claywell scored a game-high 13 points, followed by JnoBaptiste (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Orgler (10 points, 6 rebounds). Seniors Elena Duve and Danielle Peco also contributed to the Bulldogs’ balanced scoring with eight points apiece.
Against Reavis, Orgler filled up the stat sheet with 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals, while Duve contributed eight points and five boards.
Orgler, JnoBaptiste and Claywell each scored nine points against Lane Tech and Duve added eight points and eight rebounds. Reserve Alleigh VandeMerkt also played well, putting up seven points and eight rebounds.