Bulldogs knock off Morton to win school’s first Sectional title

Jalen Brunson and the Stevenson Patriots up next


David Wackrow Sr.

RB Coach Tom McCloskey finally got over the hump and won RB its first Sectional Title

Steven Baer, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday the Bulldogs went into a hostile scene at Morton East High School with one thing in mind: bringing home a Sectional championship to Riverside Brookfield. To do that, however, the Dogs would have to go through the red hot Morton Mustangs.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Morton East’s gym, which has a capacity of roughly 2,500, was completely filled and then some. RB’s 6th Man traveled extremely well and had an ongoing yelling match against Morton’s colossal student section throughout the game.

“The atmosphere was beyond belief,” said Bulldog fan Jack Hayes. “Words couldn’t explain how powerful the 6th Man was.”

But despite the emphatic fans and energy in the air, RB still had a game to play.

The Bulldogs jumped out in front to begin the game, and at the end of the first quarter, they led the Mustangs 17-10. In the ensuing period the Bulldogs were able to keep control of the game, and by half time they had stretched their lead to 35-26. Morton’s star senior Weisner Perez was uncharacteristically inefficient, as he went the entire first half of play without a field goal. However, Perez and the Mustangs would not go away quietly.

In the third quarter of play the momentum completely switched sides. The Dogs struggled mightily and were outscored 21-12 in the period. Going into the fourth, the score sat at 47-46 in favor of the Mustangs.

The last quarter of play was an intense see-saw battle, and with 4:05 remaining the Bulldogs trailed 56-52.  However, the Bulldogs wouldn’t back down. Through a few key possessions and solid all-around play, the Bulldogs were able to shrink the lead to 59-58 with 2:30 seconds remaining. With 1:43 left, senior Sam Johnson made a tricky layup that put the Dogs up 60-59. From there, thanks to a few big stops and solid free throw shooting, RB was able to close out the game and win its first Sectional championship in school history.

“I always had faith that we were going to come away with it,” senior Sam Johnson said. “We stuck together and we got it done.”

The monumental win puts RB into the Super Sectional game, the furthest RB has ever gone. There the Bulldogs will take on the no. 2 team in the state, the Stevenson Patriots.

The widely favored Patriots are led by Villanova commit Jalen Brunson, who has been the key to Stevenson’s 27-3 record, and convincing post season run. Brunson, the Sun Times’ player of the year, is looking to bring Stevenson to their third consecutive appearance at state. Standing in his way is a resilient RB team that has no intention of bowing out.

RB is playing with house money. Not many predicted RB to make it out of their sectional, despite being the number one seed. Going into the Super Sectional, RB has nothing to lose. Falling to Stevenson won’t take away from the Dogs’ magical season. However, the same cannot be said for the Patriots. If the Lincolnshire team goes all of Jalen Brunson’s historic high school career without bringing home a state title, there will surely be a sour taste in its mouth.

In Tuesday’s Super Sectional game, don’t be surprised if you see a Bulldog team playing to win, and a Stevenson team playing not to lose.