For at least a quarter and change, “rust” won out over “rest” regarding the state of the Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team’s post-holidays break.
Returning from a two-week hiatus in terms of games, the out of sync Bulldogs fell behind host Fenton 29-7 midway through the second quarter on Saturday, but the team flipped a switch the rest of the way and outscored the Bison by 33 points to claim a 55-44 Metro Suburban Conference win.
“I think the rust showed early from our layoff,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “We were missing a lot of layups and putbacks and we were 2 of 10 from the free-throw line. We were just really struggling to score the ball.
“I saw that uncertain look in the girls eyes during a timeout. I told them to stay calm because if we can just chip into the [Fenton] lead, we’ll have a shot.”
The Bulldogs (16-3, 6-1) kick started their momentous rally with a second-quarter spurt to cut the deficit to 30-16 at halftime. RB reached full flight in the third quarter, outscoring Fenton 22-4, to take the lead 38-34 entering the final period.
Offensively, Hannah Claywell served as a one-girl wrecking crew, lighting up the Bison for a career-high 27 points. Sophomore Janae Dabney (18 points, 7 rebounds) provided a strong scoring and rebounding presence in the paint to support Claywell’s dazzling perimeter work.
In the fourth quarter, Claywell and Dabney dominated the action, putting up 17 points collectively, to power past the Bison.
Brittney JnoBaptiste and Caroline Waas chipped in four points apiece along with providing considerable defensive pressure. Kaija Bole, Emma Schander, Miranda Chavez and Stephanie Taccola also contributed to the Bulldogs’ defense which caused several Fenton turnovers to trigger the RB rally.
Alissa White and Tina Guarino shared team-high scoring honors for Fenton with eight points each.
The Bulldogs host a pair of games — Lyons Township on Friday (7 p.m.) and Timothy Christian on Saturday (5 p.m.) — this weekend.
“It’s going to be two really tough games,” Till said. “LT is a good team and Timothy Christian is a big conference game for us.”