After surviving a close call Dec. 17, the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys basketball team will get many more big tests soon.

The Bulldogs (9-1) are the No. 3 seed at York’s Jack Tosh Classic behind Glenbard West and Bolingbrook.

RBHS opens the five-day, 32-team action at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 against Sandburg. With a 61-53 Metro Suburban Conference home victory on Dec. 17 over St. Francis, the Bulldogs have won six straight heading into a Dec. 22 game with St. Edward.

“There’s some great teams at the Tosh,” R-B coach Mike Reingruber said. “It’s always very deep and very balanced.” 

Lyons Township High School (6-3), which also has won four straight, and the Bulldogs could meet in the Tosh Classic quarterfinals. LTHS plays Wheaton North at 9 a.m. on Dec. 27 in its opener.  

Senior Brady Vaia’s late three-pointer on Dec. 17 put RBHS ahead to stay after St. Francis overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to tie the game. The Bulldogs were then perfect from the free throw line down the stretch to pull away.

Joevonn McCottry and Joe Gilhooley each scored 16 points. 

LTHS defeated Downers Grove North 75-58 on Dec. 17 to improve to 3-1 in West Suburban Conference Silver action and Prospect 57-44 on Dec. 18.

Nik Polonowski (27 points, 5 threes) and Billy Bach (22 points, 4 threes) had career scoring highs against Downers North and Jackson Niego added 11 points. Senior Tavari Johnson’s 12 assists was one shy of the single-game school record shared by multiple players.

Aidan Sullivan (15 points), Johnson (11 points), Polonowski (9 points) and Bach and Graham Smith (7 points each) paced the victory over Prospect.

LTHS girls atop WSC-Silver

Senior Hailey Markworth converted a conventional three-point play with 7.6 seconds left to give Lyons Township High School a 31-29 victory over Downers Grove North on Dec. 17 in LaGrange to take over first place in the West Suburban Conference’s Silver Division near season’s the halfway point.

The Lions (11-1, 5-0 in WSC-Silver) are the No. 5 seed at the 16-team Montini Christmas Tournament. They open with Hope Academy at 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 27.

Last season, LTHS shared the conference title with Downers North (12-2, 4-1) and York. Downers North missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have snatched victory from the Lions on Dec. 17.

“Conference is a really big goal of ours and we definitely want to take it,” said Markworth, who had a game-high 14 points and another key basket with 45.8 seconds left to put the Lions up 28-27.

“This one was definitely exciting,” Markworth added. “I wouldn’t say that our clutch baskets fall on me all of the time. We could all have one at a certain time.” 

Ally Cesarini added 12 rebounds and six points and Ella Ormsby had four steals. 

The Lions handled the Trojans’ half-court, ball-control strategy that limited them to 44 possessions. After three turnovers on their first four possessions, the Lions had just four the rest of the game.

“It was a great game to watch, a great game to be a part of. Hats off to them. They gave us a very challenging game,” LTHS coach Meghan Hutchens said. “I’m really proud of our girls to keep their composure, finish the game and to finish on the winning side is always a plus.”

Cesarini had a career-high 19 points on Dec. 14 as LTHS won 66-55 at York. Markworth scored 16 points and Olivia Mezan contributed 10.

In the Grow the Game Tournament on Dec. 13, LTHS defeated Trinity 65-52 at New Trier behind Mezan (16 points), Izzy Lee and Markworth (13 points each) and Ormsby (10 points).

RBHS’ Wilczak named all-tourney

Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Rachel Wilczak was named to the all-tournament team at the Oak Lawn Tournament last week.

The Bulldogs (6-7) lost to Thornton Fractional South 64-48 in the fifth-place game on Dec. 18. 

RBHS had finished 1-2 in pool play, losing to Aurora Central Catholic 42-34 on Dec. 15.

The Bulldogs will play host to its five-team, round-robin holiday tournament. The Bulldogs meet Argo at 3 p.m. on Dec. 27 to get things started. On Dec. 28, they will face Morton at 3 p.m. and Shepard at 4:30 p.m. They’ll finish up against Niles North at 3 p.m. on Dec. 29.