Some of the players on the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball team have been so antsy to take part in some hoops action, they’ve had to resort to attending other games.
RBHS freshmen stars Dana Rettke and Samantha Bloom checked out Trinity’s impressive 56-52 win over Whitney Young on Saturday in River Forest. Due to inclement weather, the Bulldogs have only played one game so far in 2014, a 63-46 win over visiting Westmont on Jan. 8. Courtesy of the dreaded polar vortex and way too many inches of snow, RBHS cancelled its other January home game, a date against Elmwood Park.
While head coach Dallas Till expressed justifiable concerns that his team might be rusty in its new year opener, the Bulldogs looked relatively sharp in their nonconference win against the Sentinels.
Bloom (13 points) and Rettke (12 points) paced a well-balanced attack. Bloom made three shots from beyond the arc and the 6-foot-5 Rettke dominated the action inside for RBHS, which improved to 17-4, including a 4-1 record in the Metro Suburban Conference.
“It was a good win for us after being off for several days,” Rettke said. “We had contributions from a lot of players and played really good defense. Lyndsey [Hoyd], in particular, has really improved on defense. I think everybody is really motivated to make a push for the conference title.”
The Bulldogs have displayed plenty of offensive firepower this season, but their development defensively has been encouraging and perhaps the key to any kind of extended postseason run. Lyndsey Hoyd, Janae Dabney, Miranda Chavez, Caroline Waas and Natalia Gheewala all clamped down defensively to hold Westmont in check.
“We’ve gotten a lot better defensively,” Hoyd said. “Our press is really working well. After our Christmas tournament, we took a lot of days off and lost our conditioning. We have had some of our best practices lately. We did a lot of running. As long as we keep working hard and improving, we have a chance to finish the season strong.”
With three conference home games against Fenton, Timothy Christian and Elmwood Park to finish off the month, RBHS is focused on keeping pace with front-runner Glenbard South for the league title.
In their first meeting in December, the Raiders pulled away in the fourth quarter from the Bulldogs to secure a 59-44 win. RBHS and Glenbard South square off again in Glen Ellyn on Feb. 4.
“If we want to have a shot at winning conference, we’re going to have to beat Glenbard [South] in their gym,” Hoyd said. “We feel like we can handle everyone else, so Glenbard South is the team we’re focused on.”
The junior varsity is mirroring the varsity’s success. Led by Therese Hanley (14 points) and Jessica JnoBaptiste (12 points), the junior varsity team defeated Westmont 38-27. Emma Beener, Killian Elwart, Areli Vargas and Brenda Ulloa also contributed for the junior varsity Bulldogs (13-3).