By James Kay
Since 2006, Maggie McCloskey's name and her 1,905 points have been displayed on RBHS' basketball record poster in the main gym as the all-time scoring leader at RBHS.
With the scoring pace that Bulldogs' Brenna Loftus has been on, the school is going to need to update its record books.
Loftus, who still has another season to add to her point total, broke McCloskey's scoring record last week and was honored before RBHS' home game versus Immaculate Conception High School on Feb. 7 for scoring her 2,000th career points on the road against Leyden High School the previous night.
"[Scoring 2,000 points] means the world to me and it's even more special that I got to do it with this group of girls," said Loftus after the game. "Without them, it wouldn't have happened. All of my excitement is through them, everything is for them, and they make it so special for me."
RBHS' assistant coach Mark Ruge, who has watched Loftus play since she was in middle school, marveled about the kind of person and player Loftus has become since she came to the school three years ago.
"We have had so many kids come through this program, and I am telling you that Brenna [Loftus] is the humblest player I have ever met," said Ruge in a phone interview with The Landmark on Feb. 9. "She is more worried about the team and how much fun she is having with her friends than how many points she has scored. To me, that says more about who she is than anything else."
Adding to the celebration on the night, the Bulldogs (27-4) beat IC Catholic 56-45 behind Loftus' 37 points. After the win, the Bulldogs officially won the Metro Suburban Conference (13-0) and now have a week to rest up before the start of the playoffs.
It took the Bulldogs two quarters to separate themselves from the Knights. Throughout the first half, the officials let both teams get away with contact inside the paint which initially helped ICC contain Loftus. With the Bulldogs only up by four points heading into the second half, Loftus went to work.
With 6:11 left in the third quarter, Loftus went on a 10-2 run by herself in the next three minutes. At that point she had 23 points versus ICC's 25.
When asked what she was thinking before she went on her scoring spirt, Loftus was quick to answer.
"I'm not losing," said Loftus. "I had kind of a slow first quarter, and I thought, 'Nope we are done with that. I am not losing this game.' We had people here I wanted to play for, and I started to get things going after that."
Going into the fourth quarter, RBHS was up 42-32.
However, the Knights began to mount a comeback and went on a 9-0 run and found themselves within one point with 4:25 left in the game.
The Bulldogs collected themselves and went back to Loftus in the final minutes of the game. The junior scored or assisted on the team's next 10 points and the Knights never came back.
Now that the regular season is wrapped up, the Bulldogs have a week to rest up before the start of the playoffs. The team has maintained the same mantra all season: taking every matchup one game at a time. Now that they have won conference, the team has bigger goals in mind.
"I think this win really helps us because we are undefeated in conference which is a good boost for us going into regionals," said Loftus. "I think it's really going to help us with momentum going forward. We have been focusing on the playoffs and setting goal all year, and winning conference was one of them. Now that is checked off, we are ready to move on to the goal which is to win a regional title."