When the highly touted trio of Samantha Bloom, Lyndsey Hoyd and Dana Rettke started as freshmen in 2014, the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball team looked set for several years.
For the most part, the results have matched the hype surrounding these players. In their first two seasons together, the Bulldogs went 51-12. Last season, when the 6-foot-8 Rettke left the team to concentrate on volleyball, RBHS still produced a solid 20-11 campaign, highlighted by a 10-2 record in the Metro Suburban Conference. Rettke, one of the best high school volleyball players in the country, will play at Wisconsin next season.
For Bloom and Hoyd, who comprise a terrific backcourt, time flies when you’re having fun and winning games.
“It’s absolutely crazy how fast everything has gone,” Bloom said. “Lyndsey and I are seniors so it’s bittersweet.
“Losing Dana hurt us but it didn’t stop us. We adjusted well and made the best out of the situation.”
In previous years with interior scoring threats like Rettke and Janae Dabney, the Bulldogs had a very balanced offensive attack. Now, RBHS employs more of a spread offense with one player typically inside and the four others along the perimeter.
“You have to run with the personnel you have,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “I’m not the kind of coach who runs the exact same system regardless of our personnel. We don’t have a lot of size this season so we have to adjust a bit.”
Bloom, the reigning Metro Suburban Conference MVP, averaged 18.4 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 41 percent from the field. Hoyd, an all-conference player, put up 13.5 points, 2.2 steals per game and shot 34 percent on three-point attempts.
“Their play speaks for itself,” Till said. “Sam and Lyndsey have the green light to shoot because we need their scoring. They do other things on the court as well. And they play their hearts out which sets a great example for the other kids.”
“We’re going to need contributions from a lot of players as well to be successful.”
Senior guard/forward Colette Murray, sophomore forward Maddie Meehan and senior center Maggie Shereck fill out the starting rotation.
Fresh of a solid freshman season, Meehan is a promising player who runs the floor well and both score and defend. Shereck, a key contributor for the volleyball team which advanced to the supersectionals, will provide an interior presence for the Bulldogs.
Top reserves include 5-10 junior forward Vasara Kulbis, 6-foot junior forward Morgan Litavecz and 5-4 senior guard Taylor Jensen. Guards Sarah JnoBaptiste and Sophia Bolton could also contribute, especially since Till prefers a deep bench to play up-tempo basketball.
“Communication is key for us,” Hoyd said. “We realized last year how much we need it to succeed so we’re reiterating the importance of talking to each other on the court this season.
“We are also working hard on rebounding and boxing out. We lack height this season so that will be huge for us.”
RBHS should be competitive in the Metro Suburban Conference this season. The Bulldogs are also playing in three tournaments, highlighted by their own Holiday Classic (Dec. 26- Dec. 30).
“We need to work hard and give everything we have in each game,” Bloom said. “If we believe in ourselves, I think we will have a very successful year no matter who our opponents are.”