The Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team discovered that making free throws not only wins games but can occasionally come in handy regarding tournament title tiebreakers as well.
Locked in a three-way tie with Nazareth and Morton (all three teams went 3-1) in the 10th Annual Bill VandeMerkt Thanksgiving Classic, RB won the tournament via the best overall free-throw percentage (76 percent).
RB (7-1) has already claimed a pair of tournament championships this season (Argo, RB) and opens Metro Suburban Conference play this week with games against Fenton and Timothy Christian.
Senior guard Hannah Claywell averaged 13 points and three assists per game in the VandeMerkt tournament, while Brittany JnoBaptiste and Janae Dabney starred in the paint for RB. Caroline Waas, Miranda Chavez, Emma Schander and Stephanie Taccola also played well for the Bulldogs.
“Everybody is really working hard to improve as a team,” Claywell said. “Our focus is always on the defensive end. We’re excited about our start, but really the season is just beginning.”
Other than a 46-37 overtime loss to Nazareth, the host Bulldogs cruised in their tournament, defeating Mount Assisi 62-27, Morton 66-50 and Ridgewood 67-47.