Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Stefan Cicic

As Riverside Brookfield High School 7-foot senior center Stefan Cicic put together yet another double-double (points and rebounds) Saturday, he provided even more on the court on defense, including four more blocked shots and working to contain Fenwick’s 6-4 junior and Division I football recruit Nate Marshall.

“Obviously he’s a tough kid, very strong kid. I just went into the game how I always do, locked in, prepared, focused to win the game,” Cicic said.

“I liked how I guarded the guards, how I guarded Marshall. And also blocking. I did a really good job. I think we’re in a good place [as a team].”  

The Bulldogs received many contributions in their key 63-59 overtime victory over the visiting Friars.

Cicic scored 23 points for the Bulldogs (18-3) on 7-for-11 field goal shooting and by going 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. He grabbed 10 rebounds. 

Steven Brown (13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists), Mehki Austin (11 points), Cameron Mercer (10 points with 2 threes) and Danny Loftus (6 points) also were key contributors. Dom Ducree (21 points, 3 threes) was the only player in double figures for the Friars (12-7).

“It was just a great back-and-forth high school basketball game and fortunately we made enough plays down the stretch to win,” RBHS coach Mike Reingruber said. 

“I thought we did a lot of nice things. Defensively, we were pretty good. I thought Stef played his best defensive game of the year. He did a good job defending Marshall, but other guys obviously stepped up as well.” 

Entering overtime tied at 53, RBHS never trailed, scoring on each of its first five possessions. 

Cicic first scored inside and Brown nailed a clutch tiebreaking three for a 58-55 lead. After two more Cicic free throws, the Friars closed to 60-58 with a Ducree three before Cicic scored inside and Mercer hit one of two free throws with 19.5 seconds for a 63-58 advantage.

Austin sent the game into overtime on his three with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Friars had the ball and called a timeout with 8.1 seconds left, but Loftus stole the ball and nearly made an off-balance three at the buzzer. 

The victory was especially sweet, coming off the 63-57 loss to Hillcrest, Jan. 15, at Homewood-Flossmoor after being outscored 21-13 in the fourth quarter. Cicic had 16 points and eight rebounds.

“That was a big win for us. Fenwick’s a really good team, an underrated team, but we were all locked in, prepared,” Cicic said. “We just played our heart out and it showed in the win.”

The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 in the Metro Suburban Conference by beating Westmont 67-41 Monday behind Cicic (20 points, 14 rebounds), Mercer (18 points with 2 threes, 7 rebounds, 5 steals) and Austin (7 points, 8 assists) and over Elmwood Park, 72-45 Friday, behind Mercer (14 points with 2 threes), Loftus (14 points, 5 assists), Cicic (10 points, 9 rebounds) and Brown (9 points).  

RB girls basketball

Niamh Larson

The Bulldogs (12-12) are on a five-game winning streak and enjoyed an emotional 41-32 victory over visiting Fenwick, Saturday afternoon. 

Niamh Larson (11 points, 6 rebounds), Alyssa Morris (9 points, 4 steals), Emily Organ (6 points, 5 steals), Mayan Covarrubias (6 points, 4 assists), Arianna Hudson (6 points) and Amanda Buckley (3 deflections) led a balanced attack and one of the team’s best defensive efforts this season. 

“Defense is really all heart, so we all wanted to win really bad so we all played hard,” Covarrubias said.

“We were flying to the ball. We talked really well. This was definitely our best communication of the year. We just had good energy and talked with each other through the entire game.”

The Bulldogs have already surpassed last season’s 11-19 record. 

They’re 4-0 in the MSC after beating Westmont 59-37 Monday and Elmwood Park 51-22 Friday behind Larson (10 points), Organ (9 points), Covarrubias (7 points) and Julia Madera, Kelley Tyler, Hudson and Morris (6 points each). Hudson has just returned to the lineup for the first time since early December.

RB boys wrestling

The Bulldogs (189 points) finished fourth at the Oak Park and River Forest Invitational Saturday.

Edgar Mosquera was second at 113 pounds, losing 4-1 in the final to Morris’ top-seeded Brock Claypool.

Josh Gonzalez (144) was third, Max Strong (175) fourth, and Cade Tomkins (165) and Matt Elzy (190) sixth.

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