One more game to go.
If the Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team defeats visiting Elmwood Park on Thursday, the Bulldogs will claim the Metro Suburban Conference championship outright.
Riverside-Brookfield set up the title-clinching opportunity by winning a pair of conference games last week, notably a 54-40 victory over Glenbard South. The Raiders won the first meeting this season, however, RB gained a measure of revenge and control of the conference race in one fell swoop.
Brittney JnoBaptiste scored an inside basket off the opening tip and RB never trailed en route to victory. Leading 30-25 at halftime, the Bulldogs (22-4, 10-1) built their lead to 43-30 as Hannah Claywell scored six of her game-high 18 points in the third quarter. JnoBaptiste finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Janae Dabney had nine points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Caroline Waas added nine points and Emma Schander eight rebounds for the Bulldogs.
“It was one of our best games this season,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “Hannah and Brittney were both outstanding, but we also had contributions from several other players. I thought Emma really gave us a tough presence inside and played well defensively.”
The Bulldogs held Glenbard South’s 6-foot-2 center Sydney Bauman to four points.
Riverside-Brookfield consolidated its crucial win over Glenbard South with a 59-49 victory over Ridgewood last week. After their emotional win over the Raiders, the Bulldogs seemed sluggish against Ridgewood, who led after the first quarter, 15-14, and built a three-quarter advantage before Claywell changed the complexion of the game with one dramatic shot. Tied at 39-all with 2.8 seconds left in the third, Claywell (21 points, 6 rebounds) took an inbounds pass and drained a shot just inside the half-court line to put RB up for good 42-39. RB outscored the Rebels 17-10 in the fourth quarter to earn a hard-fought 10-point victory.
JnoBaptiste (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Dabney (11 points, 10 rebounds) established a strong presence in the paint. Schander and Waas chipped in six points apiece.
“I knew [Ridgewood] would be a trap game,” Till said. “We were a bit flat after such a big win over Glenbard South. I was nervous about the game, and rightfully so, but I’m glad we escaped with a win.”
On Saturday, RB wrapped up the week with a 40-34 win against Leyden. Dabney (14 points, 11 rebounds) and JnoBaptiste (7 points, 3 rebounds) paced the victors.
RB hosts Elmwood Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. Seniors Claywell, JnoBaptista, Schander, Bole and Stephanie Taccola will be recognized before the game.