By Marty Farmer
The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls basketball team performed well at its own Christmas tournament. Add a first-place standing and 6-0 record in the Metro Suburban Conference record to their resume, and it's apparent the Bulldogs will enter 2019 brimming with confidence.
At their Riverside-Brookfield Holiday Classic, the Bulldogs blew through pool play with convincing wins over Shepard, Glenbard East and Morton. In the championship game, Argo proved too much to handle as RBHS lost 80-71. Sophomore guard Brenna Loftus scored 29 points and pulled down five rebounds against Argo. Sarah Jnobaptiste (15 points, six rebounds) and Angelina Ocampo (13 points, 5 rebounds) also played well for the Bulldogs. Mary Maloney and Georgiana Gomorczak chipped in six points apiece against the Argonauts.
In pool play, the Bulldogs capped off a 3-0 run by blowing out Morton 66-34. Loftus led in scoring again with a game-high 27 points and played well defensively with five steals. Jnobaptiste turned in a solid all-court game with 14 points (3-for-7 three-pointers), six rebounds and three steals. RBHS scored 16 points off turnovers and 14 second-chance points.
The Bulldogs also defeated Glenbard East 39-31 and Shepard 66-41 in their earlier games. Against Glenbard East, RBHS overcame a dismal shooting night (12-for-52, 23 percent; 14-for-28 on free throws) to edge the Rams. Senior Leah Rettke dominated the boards with 14 rebounds, while Loftus (15 points, 5 rebounds) and Jnobaptiste (9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals) also led the team.
In its tourney opener, RBHS employed a true team effort as seven players scored and 11 saw action in a 66-41 victory against Shepard. Loftus led with 23 points and five boards, followed by Jnobaptiste (11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists), Rettke (10 points, 5 rebounds). Cassie Hines and Ocampo scored eight points apiece for the Bulldogs, who quickly established their preferred up-tempo style of play with 19 points on the fast break and 27 points off turnovers.
RBHS (13-7) kicks off 2019 against visiting Rosary on Thursday, Jan 3. Tip-off is 7 p.m.