The Riverside Brookfield boys basketball team had something to prove at the 32nd Jack Tosh Holiday tournament held last week at York High School.
After an early exit in 2004, RB (7-5 overall, 2-0 Suburban Prairie League) finished eighth at the 16-team tournament, this time finishing with a record of 1-3. St. Ignatius defeated York 52-40 to win the tournament.
The Bulldogs were firing on all cylinders in the first contest, downing Oswego 66-63. Jon Baldermann paced the Bulldogs with 29 points, including sinking 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Matt Sandrik added 13 and also went 2-for-2 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. The win ensured the Bulldogs a spot in the winner's bracket and was a great way to start the tournament, according to RB coach Tom McCloskey.
"Baldermann and Sandrik really made some clutch free throws down the stretch," he said. "The win put us in the winner's bracket, which was one of our main goals coming into the tournament. They (Oswego) were very physical, but Baldermann had a big night for us and we got the win."
The Bulldogs did not fare nearly as well in the next contest, losing to York 80-62. York's Sean Finley hit five treys en route to scoring 31 points. While York was scoring at will, RB's top scorer Baldermann got into early foul trouble in the first half. Still, RB did have some highlights, mainly Bulldog sophomore Chris Parrish pouring in 32 points, while senior Mark Gorman added 13.
RB's woes continued in the next contest, falling 60-57 to Main South. The difference came down to free throws, with Hawks hitting 11-of-12 in the fourth quarter. Despite leading 30-22 at halftime, RB failed to contain the physical Hawks. The Bulldogs had a two-point lead with just over two minutes left, but turned the ball over three times in the waning seconds to seal their fate. Parrish had 17 points, while Baldermann followed with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mark Gorman had 14 points, including four three-pointers.
In the last game of the contest, Conant defeated RB 63-59 in another physical contest. Rebounding was once again the difference, according to McCloskey. Baldermann led the Bulldogs with 26 points, while Sandrik added 14. Junior guard Dan Papadatos hit three treys in the second half for nine points.
Now, with the York tournament over, McCloskey said he must focus his team to make the long run toward claiming the conference championship.
"I was disappointed we went 1-3 at the tournament, but I told our guys it was a prestigious tourney and the most important thing is how we play in the conference and the state tourney," McCloskey said. "We have to move on from this tournament and continue towards our goal of winning the [conference] championship."
Jack Tosh Tournament Results
Friday, Dec. 30
Conant 63, RB 59, (7th)
LT 71, Downers South 65, (third)
Thursday, Dec. 29
Maine South 60, RB 57
(Bulldogs: Chris Parrish, 17 pts; Jon Baldermann, 16 pts, 12 rbs)
St. Ignatius 44, LT 32
Wednesday, Dec. 28
York 80, RB 62
(Bulldogs: Parrish, 32 pts, 6 rbs, 3
assists; Mark Gorman, 13 pts)
LT 44, Wheaton Warrenville
Tuesday, Dec. 27
RB 66, Oswego 63
(Bulldogs: Baldermann, 29 pts,
13 rbs; Matt Sandrik, 13 pts; Gorman, 10 pts)
LT 55, Benet 50 (OT)
(Lions: Grant Porter, 14 pts)