The Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team, which dropped a pair of games last week, is suddenly mired in a three-game losing streak. Despite their recent skid, the Bulldogs aren’t exactly pushing the panic button.
“I’m really hoping we pick it up and get our offense going a little better,” RB forward/center Brittney JnoBaptiste said. “Lately, it hasn’t been working so well, but I think we will be fine.”
The team, which is 10-5 overall and 3-2 in the Metro Suburban Conference, lost to visiting Glenbard South 62-39 in a conference matchup on Thursday. The Raiders jumped out to a 17-2 lead and never looked back en route to the surprisingly lopsided victory. The Bulldogs opened the game in a zone defense, which Glenbard South quickly exploited with several three-point baskets.
The previous night, host Hersey rolled past RB 71-39 in the Fenton Tournament.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs remain in the thick of the conference race. Led by Meghan Orgler, Elena Duve, Danielle Peco, JnoBaptiste, Hannah Claywell and a strong bench, the team should bounce back. Injuries to post players Kaija Bole and 6-foot center Gina Spaienza (likely out for the season) have left the RB a bit short-handed.
“I think [coach Till] is doing well with the rotations and making sure everybody gets a breather,” JnoBaptiste said. “Hopefully, Kaija and Gina can come back soon and make us an even better team.”
Like JnoBaptiste, Claywell has brought an infusion of scoring with a solid all-court game to the varsity level. While JnoBaptiste has an uncanny knack for scoring especially around the bucket and is an excellent rebounder, Claywell can knock down midrange jumpers and runs the floor well. The junior swingman feels the recently bulked up competition could be a blessing in disguise.
“We played a few tough teams [last week] and it was kind of good for us,” Claywell said. “The losses were humbling. I think it’s a good test to play against tougher, quicker teams. We always talk about playing good defense and the importance of applying pressure. Coach Till tells us we can always control attitude and effort.”
Riverside-Brookfield visits Fenton on Friday in another key conference game (7:30 p.m.).