Maggie collects 44, breaks three school records

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By LARRY ROGOWIN

The RB basketball team's 87-42 home victory over Elmwood Park Friday night will be forever known as "Maggie McCloskey Night."

It was the night the senior sensation broke three school records and further cemented her status as one of the state's premier high school basketball players.

McCloskey's 44 points one-upped Martha Senese's single-game RB scoring record (set in 1992) and a bucket near the start of the fourth quarter passed Meghan Hutchens' career scoring record of 1,446 points (set last season). By the end of the weekend, McCloskey, whose 17 field goals passed Senese's single-game school record of 16, had amassed 1,450 career points.

"She was on fire right from the start," said RB coach Larry Rocco, whose team moved its record to 9-1 (4-0 in the Suburban Prairie (East) Conference).

And the milestones kept coming. McCloskey reached 302 career three-pointers to move her to fourth all-time in IHSA history. The 5-foot-5 guard also became the first player in Illinois high school basketball history, boys or girls, to drain more than 300 treys and dish out over 600 assists (she had 10 of the latter on the night).

This history-making career is mostly attributed to McCloskey's fierce and peerless work ethic, explained Rocco, who took a celebratory timeout after his star became RB's all-time scoring leader.

Senior Erin Pfieffer complemented McCloskey's dominance by pouring in 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs built a 42-7 lead by halftime.

McCloskey and Pfieffer were held to four points apiece the next night in the Bulldogs' 77-38 loss to highly-touted Marist at the Bremen Pow-Wow Classic.

The Bulldogs stayed close through most of the first half, trailing 24-21 near the end of the second quarter. But it was at that point when Marist exploded on a 15-0 run to close the quarter and grab control of the contest.

"We never recovered after that," said Rocco, adding that the key to the game was Marist's 18 offensive rebounds, a total the Bulldogs didn't come close to matching.

"Our initial defense was pretty good against them," the coach explained. "You just can't give a team like that so many second chances."

Junior forward Katelyn McCloskey led RB with 18 points and five rebounds. Maggie McCloskey managed to notch six assists.

The Marist game marked the Bulldogs' second 20-plus-point loss to a state power last week. Buffalo Grove downed RB 72-48 on Tuesday at the prestigious Sweet Sixteen tournament.

On Monday, RB begins play in the Morton College tournament, which runs through Thursday, Dec. 29.

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