The Riverside-Brookfield High School boys basketball team bounced back from a tough loss to St. Ignatius in the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic with an impressive victory in Saturday’s consolation round.
The Bulldogs edged Sandburg 69-59 at York High School Saturday, advancing to play against Conant in their final game of the tournament.
After holding Sandburg to just two points in the first quarter en route to a 12-2 lead, the Bulldogs pulled away further in the second quarter, courtesy of a 12-0 run capped off by sophomore forward Mark Smith’s layup to build a 28-6 lead over the Eagles
“We made really good decisions offensively in the first half,” RBHS senior forward Jack VandeMerkt said. “We weren’t taking bad shots, we were either getting wide-open three-pointers or layups.”
The Eagles found their shooting range in the second half as junior Niko Kogionis drained five three-pointers. Despite Sandburg’s offensive surge, RBHS maintained its advantage.
“(Kogionis) got hot in the third quarter,” VandeMerkt said. “We still rebounded well, so we weren’t giving them second chances.”
VandeMerkt tallied 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while senior guard Will Kincanon led RBHS with a game-high 32 points. Point guard Daniko Jackson (eight points, four assists) also contributed.
“Kincanon had an outstanding game for us,” RBHS coach Tom McCloskey said. “He got it done in both halfs. We know Sandburg is a really good shooting team, and it’s good to come out of here with a win.”
The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 55-47 win over Glenbard East. Junior forward Sam Johnson led the way with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Jackson had seven points and four assists.
St. Ignatius derailed RBHS 55-53 on Friday. Kincanon scored 24 points and Johnson put up a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds against the well-regarded Wolfpack.
“It was a tough loss (Friday),” VandeMerkt said. “It’s been a really competitive tournament, but now we have a chance [against Conant] to go three and one.”
“We played well against Glenbard East; the loss to St. Ignatius was a heartbreaker,” McCloskey said. “We love this tournament; it’s great preparation for our conference play.”