By Marty Farmer
Around the holidays, the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys basketball team caught fire offensively. The Bulldogs haven't looked back, sharing the basketball to create open shots with increased regularity since the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
The most recent evidence of their improved play (RBHS has won 11 of 15 games) occurred against Chicago Christian. Four players scored in double figures to power the Bulldogs past the Knights 81-57 in a Metro Suburban Conference crossover.
RBHS controlled the game completely, with leads of 50-32 at halftime and 72-42 after three quarters.
"We came out clicking on all cylinders," RBHS coach Mike Reingruber said. "The guys were locked in on both ends of the floor. We shot extremely well in the first half and came out just as strong in the second half."
Junior forward Andrew Veon led the way with 16 points, six rebounds and a dunk, while junior point guard Zach Vaia had a double-double of 15 points and 13 assists and no turnovers.
"I love how our guys are guys are all playing for each other," Reingruber said.
Ryan Cicenas added 13 points and Patrick Hanley 11 points as RBHS made 14 three-pointers. The Bulldogs had assists on 26 of 32 field goals.
"We still have an opportunity to reach one of our goals which is winning a conference title," Reingruber said.
RBHS (12-9, 5-1 Metro Suburban Conference) visits Immaculate Conception on Friday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. in Elmhurst.
Fenwick boys basketball
In a rematch of last year's Class 3A state final, Morgan Park defeated Fenwick 76-67 at the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East on Saturday.
Nationally ranked sophomores Adam Miller (Morgan Park) and DJ Steward (Fenwick) put on a show for the fans. Miller made nine straight three-pointers en route to a game-high 32 points, while Steward recorded a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Fenwick guard Damari Nixon scored nine points and junior swingman Billy Bruce chipped in eight points. Forward Lucas Kolovitz, filling in for injured senior Michael O'Laughlin contributed eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Friars earned a split for the weekend with a 60-52 victory in overtime at St. Rita. Steward scored 24 points and Nixon also reached double figures scoring with 12.
RBHS girls basketball
Freshman guard Brenna Loftus scored 17 points and Leah Rettke contributed nine points and seven rebounds in a 45-39 victory against Leyden. Sarah JnoBaptiste and Maddie Meehan contributed eight points apiece for RBHS. Although the Bulldogs struggled from the field (15-for-57 for 26 percent), they made 12 of 16 free throws and scored 18 points off turnovers and second-chance points.
The Bulldogs routed Wheaton Academy 74-21 in their other game last week. Loftus (16 points) and JnoBaptiste (14 points) led RBHS, which had 11 players score. RBHS also scored a whopping 40 points off turnovers.
Fenwick girls basketball
Senior forward McKenzie Blaze scored a game-high 24 points in a 51-42 loss against visiting Montini. The Friars host Homewood-Flossmoor on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m.
LTHS boys bowling
The Lions came in second at the Taft Sectional with a team score of total of 6,253. Seniors Otto Mecia (1,340), Ethan Cabela (1,269), Casey Vanspankeren (1,207), Max Campbell (1,203) and Marco Garcia (1,197) contributed for LTHS, which advances to the state tournament at the St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon.
The Bulldogs finished second (180 points) in the Metro Suburban Conference tournament over the weekend. Rival Fenton won the championship with a score 230.50.
RBHS senior DeMar Pierce (27-8) won three matches en route to the 160-pound title. After winning his first two matches via pins, Pierce edged Walther Lutheran's Jeremiah Canada 6-5 in a compelling final.
Runners-up for RBHS included sophomore Corey Dishmon (126), junior Dominic Rowe (170) and senior Vince Galvan (182).
The Friars finished seventh out of 16 teams with a score of 71 at the Chicago Catholic League Championships. Montini won the title with 344.5 points, with Mount Carmel second (265.5) and Marmion third (204).
Fenwick sophomore Jacob Kaminski (20-2) advanced to the 195-pound title bout, losing to Montini's Pete Christensen via a fall at the 3:34 mark of the match.
Friars' Adam Zuber and Aidan Flaherty both finished fourth in the 132- and 182-pound classes, respectively.