RB’s Ava Marrello (20) attempts to get a shot off before time runs out in the third quarter, while being chased down by the Fenwick team. | Photo from Ian McLeod

Like many long-range shooters, Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Ava Marrello has a fairly constant challenger beside perimeter defenses.

“I would definitely say confidence is key,” Marrello said. “If I’m feeling off and I let that get to my head, I’ve been working on that for years. If it gets to my head, it’s really hard to keep shooting or even shoot the ball in the first place. I’ll often pass it off.” 

Last week was a good shooting week and the Bulldogs were the benefactors in their 42-35 victory over Bishop McNamara on Jan. 3.

Sophomore Alyssa Morris (10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and Marrello (8 points) combined for five threes for RBHS (9-11). 

Emily Organ (8 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals), Niamh Larson (5 points), Luna Lloyd (8 rebounds) and Bryce Pacourek (5 rebounds) also contributed. 

Morris had two first-quarter threes and another in the third quarter. Marrello made 3 of 7 shots (2 for 3 threes) with all three of her baskets in the second quarter as the Bulldogs led 23-18 at halftime. Larson also her five points all in the second quarter.

“They were playing a zone, so they gave us opportunities,” Marrello said. “I’ve been making shots this week and I see how other teams react. They’ll face guard or go to man [to man] and they kept it at a zone. We used a lot of ball movement [12 assists on 17 baskets]. It’s not just one person taking those shots. We move the ball really well.” 

RBHS suffered its first Metro Suburban Conference Blue defeat to visiting Timothy Christian 59-54 on Jan. 5 and lost at Fenwick 58-27 on Jan. 7.

Organ scored 18 points against Timothy Christian with four rebounds and four steals. Other stat leaders included Pacourek (7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists), Morris (8 points with 2 threes, 4 assists), Larson (8 points), Lloyd (6 rebounds) and Amanda Buckley (5 points, 3 assists).

Marrello had 10 points against Fenwick with two second-quarter threes. Kelley Tyler added five points with a three.

RBHS boys basketball

The Bulldogs (12-4) used a strong second half to defeat Nazareth 56-43 on Jan. 7. 

Stefan Cicic collected 21 points and six rebounds and Steven Brown (14 points) and Marques Turner (12 points) stepped into double figures to help overcome being minus usual starter Will Gonzalez.

Cicic, Brown, Turner and Arius Alijosius (3 points) each had a three-pointer. Hunter Ferguson added four assists.

Trailing 22-16 at the half, the Bulldogs outscored the Roadrunners 13-3 in the third quarter to pull ahead 29-25 and followed with a 27-point fourth quarter.

RBHS girls gymnastics

The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls gymnastics team scored a season-high 130.9 points on Jan. 4 to defeat host Geneseo (season-high 128.40) and Glenbard East (then season-high 119.80) in Upstate Eight Conference dual action.

Lia Christiansen scored a meet-best 35.90 in all-around and had the top scores on all four events — floor exercise (9.35), vault (9.25), balance beam (8.8) and uneven parallel bars (8.5).

Sarah Lindenberg (32.50) and Annabel Krueger (32.30) also competed as all-arounders. Lindenberg was second on floor (8.5) and Krueger was fourth on uneven bars (7.5) and fifth on beam (8.45).

The Bulldogs’ previous best score was 130.50 on Dec. 1. 

On Jan. 7, RBHS finished fourth (128.30) at Andrew’s Erin Olmsted Invitational. Christiansen was fourth in all-around (34.90) and vault (9.1), sixth on uneven bars (8.25) and had a 9.0 on floor. Krueger’s team-best 8.6 on beam shared seventh.