Four years ago I called Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball coach Dallas Till to talk Bulldogs basketball for our annual basketball preview issue. Based on their winning tradition, I anticipated a Till-delivered positive outlook regarding the Bulldogs. However, I didn’t expect the veteran coach to reveal RBHS would feature three freshmen starters during the 2013-2014 campaign.

Precocious guards Sam Bloom and Lyndsey Hoyd, along with towering 6-foot-8 center Dana Rettke, cracked the starting lineup the day they set foot on campus.

Four years and 88 wins later, the Bulldogs honored Bloom and Hoyd plus teammates Maggie Shereck, Colette Murray, Sophia Bolton, Taylor Jensen and Therese Hanley on Senior Night Jan. 19.

“Led by Samantha and Lyndsey, this large group of seniors has been the face of the program for four years,” Till said. “I have enjoyed watching them grow as people and as players. They are a special bunch and it certainly is bittersweet.”

Rettke left the basketball program after her sophomore season to focus on volleyball. She’s playing college volleyball at Wisconsin next season.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we could have accomplished amazing things if Dana had stayed with us,” Bloom said. “We’ve definitely missed her but we are also proud of her. We are eager to see what she will accomplish in volleyball.”

During the aforementioned Senior Night this season, Bloom scored 20 points and Hoyd chipped in eight points to power the Bulldogs past Leyden 64-58 in overtime.

The seven seniors appreciated the recognition, probably none more than Bloom and Hoyd.

“It was bittersweet,” Bloom said. “It really hit me the night before because the Senior Nights Lyndsey and I planned the past three years was now being planned for us.”

Hoyd added: “Senior Night was amazing. It really made me realize that I don’t have much time left so I have to cherish every practice and game from here on out.”

Led by Bloom and Hoyd, the Bulldogs are in the midst of another successful season.

Shereck has been productive for RBHS with consistent defense, rebounding and a much-needed paint presence. Ditto for promising sophomore Maddie Meehan. The team’s lone freshman, Sarah JnoBaptiste, is another talented player to look for in the future.

For Bloom and Hoyd, however, it’s all about the present. Listed at 5-5 and 5-6, respectively, the blonde-haired girls look similar on the court. Their ability and attitude are also comparable.

Both can score, pass, rebound and defend. Both have earned all-conference honors and Bloom was named the Metro Suburban Conference MVP in 2016. Both have scored over 1,000 points during their RBHS careers. They are also excellent students.

On the hardwood, winning is the top priority for both players.

“Sam and I started playing together in fourth grade,” Hoyd said. “This is our ninth year playing together which is half of our lives. It’s crazy and sad to think that our streak is coming to an end soon.”

Of course, that’s life. Change is a given.

Attending college and playing basketball are included in both of their future plans.

Until then, there are more wins to be earned and memories made by one of the best backcourts in Bulldogs history.