Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball coach Dallas Till has been preaching teamwork to his players all season. That all-hands-on-deck approach certainly paid off during a 63-52 win over Beecher at the Riverside-Brookfield Holiday Classic last week.
In fact, the Bulldogs (10-7, 3-1 Metro Suburban Conference) used essentially every player on their roster in winning three of five games at their own Christmas tournament.
Against Beecher, junior guard Sam Bloom made a pair of 3-pointers to spark RBHS to a 12-4 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter. The Bobcats responded with a 13-0 run to go up 17-12 after one quarter.
RBHS reserves Coco Murray, Lexi Walker, Taylor Jensen, Maddie Meehan and Therese Hanley triggered an 11-0 spurt to give both momentum and the lead back to the Bulldogs at 23-17 with 1:45 remaining until halftime.
“I know we need to develop our second unit moving forward,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “They gave us a nice boost on two different occasions tonight, so I was really with happy their effort.”
Bloom scored on a layup off a turnover to give the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game at 46-28 with 1:23 left in the third quarter.
Beecher pulled within 57-52 with 1:32 left in the game, but Hoyd went 4-for-4 at the free throw line and Bloom added a pair of three throws over the final 30 seconds to preserve the victory.
Hoyd scored a team-high 20 points and Bloom added 17 points. The Bulldogs’ starting backcourt combined to shoot 6-for-13 from beyond the three-point arc and 15-for-15 from the charity stripe.
Seven other players scored for the Bulldogs, including Walker (6 points), Jensen (4 points) and Jess JnoBaptiste (4 points, 5 assists).
“We’re more of a perimeter shooting team but we did a good job [against Beecher] of entering the ball into the post,” Walker said. “We had more post play today which helped us.”
Working primarily out of a variety of zone defenses, RBHS had 10 steals and scored 20 points off turnovers.
Maggie Shereck, Allie Kucera, Meehan, Walker and JnoBaptiste have worked hard to provide a collective post presence for the undersized Bulldogs.
“Whether it’s scoring, rebounding or defending, every player has a role on this team,” Meehan said. “My role is to go into the game as needed and provide a lot of rebounding, defense and an inside presence.
“It’s not just about one or two key players for us. Everybody has to play well and contribute for us to be successful.”
In other tourney games, the Bulldogs beat Glenbard West 48-46 and Shepard 45-35 and lost to South Elgin 65-63 and St. Ignatius 47-44.
“I think we’re doing very well and playing as a team,” Jensen said. “We are rebounding better compared to earlier this season and we are passing the ball well.”
Bloom (25 points, 4 rebounds), Hoyd (22 points) and JnoBaptiste (8 points, 7 rebounds) led the way against St. Elgin, while Bloom made 11 of 13 shots and finished with a game-high 32 points against Glenbard West.