Bulldogs fall late against Lyons

Tim Buckley, Staff Reporter

After a disappointing 1-3 start to their season, the RB Boy’s Basketball team looked for a win against local rival Lyons Township at the sixth annual Chicago Elite Classic on December 1.

The Chicago Elite Classic is a local high school tournament presented by Illinois basketball powerhouses Whitney Young and Simeon, and was played at the home arena for University of Illinois- Chicago.

“It’s such a special opportunity to play against all these great teams from all around the country,” said senior Ryan Cicenas, a three year member of the varsity team and recent Saint Xavier University commit. “It’s really cool to just be apart of it, I’m really honored.”

The Bulldogs started slow, trailing Lyons Township by 11 points during a 32-21 halftime score.  

“We started the first half really slow,” said Cicenas. “I shot awful, I have to take the blame for this one. We needed to clear our minds and then things would fall into place.”

“I knew that we were going to bounce back in the second half,” said RB Head Coach Mike Reingruber. “I had complete confidence in these guys, they’ve battled, they play their butts off everyday for us.”

The second half began, and it looked like a completely different game from the first half. RB began to gain ground on Lyons Township after shooting 4/8 on three pointers. Junior Reggie Loury was a key component for the Bulldogs.

“Reggie [Loury] has been playing like this for the past couple games,” said Reingruber. “He’s vital to our team, and I expect a great year from him.”

RB took a 50-48 lead with two minutes left, their first lead of the entire game off of a Zachary Vaia three pointer. But Lyons Township answered back with an Lazarius Williams shot, giving the Lions a 51-50 lead.

The Bulldogs retook the lead with less than 30 seconds remaining, but the comeback fell short. With LT’s Tyrese Shines scoring a layup with 3.6 seconds left after a failed offensive rebound by the Bulldogs.

“We need to make sure that we are closing out games and finishing plays,” said Reingruber. “That offensive rebound at the end for example, obviously it was the game winner, we just gotta clean up things like that.”

“They were a talented team,” said Cicenas. “Everyone could shoot, everyone could attack the basket, everybody on their team could do something to contribute to the game.”

While the 56-55 loss to Lyons Township puts the Bulldogs record to 1-4, it does not mean that they can’t rebound soon.

“I think we are going to be okay as the year goes on,” said Reingruber. “We’re gonna take it on the chin, we’re gonna learn from it going forward. We are gonna fix the little things, and focus on the next five conference games we have before Christmas.”

The Bulldogs top scorers against Lyons Township were Cicenas (15 points), Z. Vaia (12 points), and Loury (11 points).

The Bulldogs opened up their conference schedule on December 5 against IC Catholic Prep at RB, an opponent they did not win against last year.

“We gotta keep our heads up, especially during practice,” said Cicenas. “If we start getting on ourselves then we’re just going to get worse. If we keep our heads up, we will be great.”