Riverside-Brookfield High School junior guard Sam Bloom essentially has unlimited range once she crosses the half-court line. Bloom’s long-range shooting ability certainly was welcomed during the Bulldogs’ 63-62 overtime win against visiting Wheaton Academy on Monday.
Trailing the Warriors 62-60 in the closing seconds of overtime, Bloom nailed a shot from the top of the key (well beyond the three-point arc) which lifted RBHS to a 63-62 victory.
“It was really cool,” Bloom said about the game-winning trey. “We were down two and obviously the pressure was intense. I got the ball passed back to me with about three seconds left and did a quick behind the back dribble to create space and shot it. The second the ball left my hand I sort of knew it was in.
“The feeling of my team rushing onto the court at the end was awesome. We beat an undefeated team and wanted it so badly. It was just such a great team win.”
While Bloom provided the heroics, the Bulldogs won their second game in a row with an all hands on deck approach. A solid starting lineup coupled with a rapidly developing, deep bench has the team headed in the right direction.
Six different players scored and 10 players contributed for RBHS, which improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the Metro Suburban Conference.
“We are still trying to figure things out and what will give us the best opportunity to succeed night in and night out,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “The one constant that we need is a selfless approach to each practice and game. We play well when we share the ball and don’t care who gets the individual credit.”
RBHS defeated Immaculate Conception 57-44 in its conference opener last week. Guard Jess JnoBaptiste shot 7 of 13 from the field, including 6 of 10 from the three-point arc. She also had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists.
“Jess has always been a key part of our success,” Till said. “Jess embodies our focus on teamwork and does whatever it takes for us to win together. In the IC game, we needed her to score a little more than she has in the past and she stepped up.
“Coco Murray, Taylor Jensen, Lexi Walker, Maggie Shereck, Therese Hanley and Maddie Meehan also provided contributions and played very well.”
Bloom (17 points, five assists) and Hoyd (12 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds) provided additional support.
RBHS excelled defensively against the Knights and scored 22 points off turnovers.
“Team defense is extremely important to success. We switched our defenses frequently and didn’t allow them to get settled in. In my opinion, Our team defensive pressure was the key to victory.”