For the first time this season, the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys basketball team was at full strength on Friday, Jan. 8.
RBHS junior guard Henry Trelenberg scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds in his season debut as the Bulldogs defeated Glenbard South 73-58 on Friday.
“It felt really good to be back,” Trelenberg said. “It was a long wait for me. It just felt good to go out there and play with my teammates again and help them win.”
Trelenberg, a starter on last year’s 28-4 team which advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals, and Whitney Young transfer Skyler Nash, both missed a significant portion of this season. While head coach Tom McCloskey declined to comment on the reasons for either player’s absence, he’s happy to have the team’s talented nucleus fully intact.
“It’s good to have Henry back,” McCloskey said about the Bulldogs’ latest addition. “Henry played very well. All of our starters played well. We’re just happy to put ourselves in the lead of the conference race.”
The Bulldogs and visiting Raiders entered the Metro Suburban Conference matchup with unbeaten records in the league. RBHS is vying for its 15th straight conference title overall and ninth consecutive championship in the Metro Suburban.
The Bulldogs (12-2, 5-0 Metro Suburban) took control early against Glenbard South by taking a 21-12 lead after one quarter and a 37-25 halftime advantage.
“It was a big win,” McCloskey said. “Glenbard South is a big rival and they’re having a great year. We stepped up and played a good game.”
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on Glenbard South and scored several easy baskets off turnovers.
“That’s our game,” McCloskey said. “Our guys can put a lot of pressure on the other team. Our half-court trap and full-court press were both working tonight. We really took advantage of those opportunities.
“On offense, we found the open guy which is what we always need to do.”
RBHS made six straight free throws, including three by Trelenberg to start the fourth quarter, extending the lead to 17 points. With less than a minute to play, reserves Mike Berscheid made a 3-pointer and Tremaine Conley capped off the scoring with a layup.
“We played well on defense and we did a great job rebounding,” Trelenberg said. “(Glenbard South) has two big guys so rebounding was a huge part of the game.”
In addition to Trelenberg, Jalen Clanton (16 points, 4 steals), Nash (9 points, 5 rebounds) and Daniko Jackson (8 points, 7 assists, 3 steals) played well on the perimeter. Center Mark Smith anchored the paint with eight points and 10 boards.
With Trelenberg and Nash back in the lineup plus battle-tested veterans like Jackson, Clanton and Smith and a deep bench, the Bulldogs are on track for a 15th straight conference championship. Another deep post-season run like last year’s supersectional appearance remains a priority as well.
And while the Bulldogs have always dominated their conference, a litany of difficult non-conference games remain on the schedule including Fenwick, St. Joseph and Morgan Park.
For now though, RBHS is simply focused on improvement.
“We just have to keep working hard every day in practice,” Trelenberg said. “We have to keep pushing each other and keep getting better every day.”
-Marty Farmer contributed to this story