With the IHSA Class 4A state playoffs two weeks away, the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball team is playing its best basketball this season. RBHS (18-9) has won four games in a row and eight of 10 overall with conference games remaining against Glenbard South and Aurora Central Catholic.
Last week, the Bulldogs beat Immaculate Conception 55-45, Leyden 59-46, Wheaton Academy 50-40 and Fenton 54-42.
The win over Immaculate Conception was particularly impressive, considering RBHS was blown out by Lyons Township the previous day. Junior guard Sam Bloom (23 points), Jess JnoBaptiste (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Lyndsey Hoyd (10 points) led the way against IC.
Bloom also led the team in scoring with 28 points against Leyden, while JnoBaptiste, Maddie Meehan and Brenda Ulloa pulled down five rebounds apiece.
Against Wheaton Academy, Bloom had 19 points, eight assists and three steals. Hoyd and JnoBaptiste also reached double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
“I believe our rebounding and defense have improved dramatically,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “We’ve been playing unselfishly, too, which always give us a better chance of winning.
“The kids have improved from the start of the season. It gives us confidence heading into the the last two conference games and eventually into the state tournament.”
The Bulldogs’ matchup against perennial rival Glenbard South on Tuesday, Feb. 2 (past deadline) is essentially for the Metro Suburban Conference championship. The Raiders defeated RBHS 44-32 in the teams’ first meeting this season.
“Our primary focus at this stage of the season is to win conference,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “We spent an exorbitant amount of time and energy breaking down our competition and strategizing for the Wheaton Academy, Glenbard South and ACC games. We’re well prepared; we just need to make plays.”
The Lions earned a three-way share of the West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship with a 35-24 win against Glenbard West. LTHS, Glenbard West and Oak Park and River Forest each finished 5-1 in conference dual meets.
The Lions’ Frank Walsh, Ezra Avery, Elias Garcia, Zach Villareal, Keith Schroeder, Mac Casella, Howard Willis and Johnny Mologousis recorded victories against Glenbard West
LTHS will compete in the Class 3A Downers Grove South Regional of the IHSA Individual State Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 6.
RBHS girls gymnastics
The Bulldogs finished third at the Sandburg Regional Monday with 124.90 points.
RBHS competed with four all-arounders – sophomore Amelia Huebner (31.825) and Katie Polanski (31.80), junior Campbell Hayes (31.275) and sophomore Olivia Weimer (30.00).
Senior all-arounder Alexia Kingzette was lost for the season when she dislocated her ankle and broke her leg while performing at the R-B Invite Jan. 23.
Polanski was seventh on uneven bars (7.825), eighth on vault (8.35) and 11th on floor (8.15). Huebner was ninth on vault (8.325), tied for ninth on balance beam (7.9), was 10th on uneven bars (7.5) and tied for 10th in all-around.
None of the gymnasts automatically advanced to the Hinsdale Central Sectional Wednesday, Feb. 10, with top-five regional finishes, but they still could advance at-large. That will be determined after the final feed-in regional at Hinsdale Central Thursday, Feb. 4.
The team also finished eighth at the Independent Conference meet. The Bulldogs posted an overall score of 128.95 with the following team scores in each event: vault (34.35), uneven bars (30.65),, balance beam (32.45) and floor routine (31.50).
Weimer finished 13th in the all-around with a score of 33.10, while Polanksi (32.35) and Hayes (32.30) placed 21st and 22nd, respectively. Huebner rounded out the Bulldogs’ all-around scoring with a 31.20 for 30th place.
Polanski recorded the best event result by taking fifth in the vault with a score of 8.85. Other top 10 finishes included Weimer (8th on beam/8.60) and Hayes (10th on vault/8.70).
LTHS girls gymnastics
LTHS edged rival Hinsdale Central to finish second at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division meet. The Lions (137.35) trailed only champion Glenbard West (146.90), which also won the regular season title with a 5-0 record. LTHS finished 3-2 in conference duals and second overall in the final standings.
Olivia Kalata was fourth in the all-around scoring at 34.475. She took third in the floor routine (9.125), fifth in the balance beam (8.775) and eighth in the vault (9.175).
Sarah Halm (6th all-around/9.05) and Julia Cozzi (11th all-around/8.725) also contributed for the Lions. Halm took second in bars with a score of 9.30 and Cozzi came in third on beam with a score of 8.825.