After taking a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout — considered one of the premier summer boys basketball showcase events in Illinois — took place at Riverside-Brookfield High School from June 18 through June 20.
Tournament director Mike Reingruber, who is also RBHS head coach, was thrilled to have hundreds of college coaches from across the country once again take in all the action.
“It feels outstanding,” he said. “After the year that everyone’s had, it’s great to see the camaraderie among the coaches, players, and teams. Just having the whole Chicago basketball community here has been a lot of fun.”
Reingruber’s Bulldogs responded by turning in a perfect performance in pool play, winning all four of their games.
On June 18, RBHS defeated Evanston 59-46 and Neuqua Valley 64-58. The Bulldogs followed up those victories with two more on June 19, a 57-51 win over De La Salle and a 70-65 victory over Oak Forest.
“I think we have a chance for a special season if we keep working hard and doing the little things,” Reingruber said. “Obviously, finishing 4-0 is the goal when you come into a tournament like this, and I’m proud of how my guys competed and performed this weekend.”
While Reingruber likes the way the Bulldogs are playing as a team, he pointed out one player who had an outstanding tournament, rising senior Joe Gilhooley.
“Joe had a great weekend,” said Reingruber of Gilhooley, who led RBHS with 20 points in the victory against Oak Forest. “He was our third or fourth option at times last year, but he’s really asserting himself into more of a primary scorer.”
LTHS boys finish tourney 3-1
The Lyons Township High School boys basketball team went 3-1 for the weekend, including a pair of impressive wins on June 20 over highly regarded Chicagoland schools, defeating St. Charles East 65-58 and Simeon 58-52.
LTHS coach Tom Sloan was pleased with his team’s showing, considering his inexperienced roster.
“It’s a learning process for a lot of the guys,” he said. “We have only a few players that have legitimate varsity experience. We played four very good teams this weekend and the inexperienced guys are learning that fundamentals are important. But it’s a fun group to work with and they’re working hard.”
LTHS features balance up and down the lineup. But the Lions also have a player who is emerging as one of the Chicago area’s top prospects in the Class of 2022 — Tavari Johnson, who had a team-high 19 points against Simeon.
“I’m glad we have him,” Sloan said. “Tavari is very skilled and can score, but I think his biggest strength is his ability to find the open guy. He’s doing a fantastic job of making the right decisions and leading the group.”
Friars win all four games
New Fenwick High School boys basketball coach Tony Young is off to a nice start as the Friars won all four games they played at the RB Shootout.
On June 19, Fenwick defeated St. Patrick 59-43 and York 37-35. That was followed up the next day with two more victories, 71-21 over Glenbard East and 62-53 over West Aurora.
“I’m pleased with the way we performed this weekend,” said Young. “We’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re trying to learn at once, and to be able to come out and execute in the games, that’s huge.”
The Friars, who were already going to a strong team this winter with six of the top seven players returning, have received more help with the addition of a pair of transfers from recently closed St. Joseph, rising junior guard Emory Marshall and rising senior center Kyle Thomas, who had 13 points and three thunderous dunks against West Aurora.
Rising sophomore guard Hunter Duncan is another newcomer who figures to play a prominent role for Fenwick. Young likes how the Friars are gradually coming together.
“We’ve got a bunch of good kids,” Young said. “It’s not hard when they all have the same goals. They want to get better and win, and I’m here to help them.”
Young also believes that playing in this prestigious summer shootout can only help the Friars keep improving.
“Playing against good competition and different styles of basketball challenges us to find the things we have to get better at,” he said. “All these games in June are huge for our development as a team.”