Boys’ basketball catches fire after mid-season struggles

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Boys’ basketball catches fire after mid-season struggles

The Bulldogs on offense during a win over conference rival Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

The Bulldogs on offense during a win over conference rival Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

Rahim Kouferidji

The Bulldogs on offense during a win over conference rival Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

Rahim Kouferidji

Rahim Kouferidji

The Bulldogs on offense during a win over conference rival Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

Ollie Howorth, Staff Reporter

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The Riverside Brookfield Bulldogs varsity season has had its ups and downs this year. With playoffs coming up, the team looks to be in the best shape possible to finish strong and prepare for the future. The team has amounted to a record of 16-8 so far.

The Bulldogs’ season has been one to remember, as there have been many make or break moments, but they are still striving to improve as each game is one closer to the main goal and the end of the season.

“We’ve played a very competitive schedule and we’ve lost a couple of close games that we wish we had back, but overall we’re headed in the right direction and we’ve had some good wins and some pretty devastating losses. With the last couple weeks of practice I see us really heading in the right direction,” said Mike Reingruber, varsity boys’ basketball head coach and counselor at RB.

While some of the losses have been disappointing, the Bulldogs look at every game as a new opportunity to thrive and play the best basketball that they can in the time they have left.

“The main thing is, we want to be playing our best basketball come February and March and I think we’re playing our best basketball right now. Hopefully that carries on as we continue into February and March,” Reingruber said.

As the team has been working to come together, a lot of the older players have taken on big roles on and off the court, whether it be spending extra time in the gym working on their game, or being role models for some of the younger players who are fresh on the big scene.

“We have a really good senior class, guys that love being in the gym and guys that are just good guys . . . they’ve really taken the younger players under their wings and have accepted them,” Reingruber said.

As the team strives for improvement, they practice regularly to cut out as many flaws and mistakes as they can to become the best team that they can possibly be. 

“Definitely taking care of the basketball [is what we need to work on]. I think turnovers were a problem at certain stretches during times where we were not playing all that well and we definitely have been doing better in those areas during the last few games so I’m happy about that. We were inexperienced, [with] a lot of guys that hadn’t played with the bright lights on, and now that we’re around halfway through the season, we can’t use inexperience as an excuse anymore and I think that they’ve been in a lot of situations now that are going to help us out in the second half,” Reingruber said.

With the program looking bright in the future, it seems as if there is a common goal for most. 

“We want to continue to bring the program forward and there was a recent Sun-Times article on programs that emerged in the past decade. We’re among the lights of some pretty prominent names there, and the one thing that we have missing that a lot of those other programs have is a State title, and we’re going to work every day to reach that and that’s the ultimate goal,” Reingruber said.

Currently, the Bulldogs are on a hot streak, winning 9 out of their last 10 games. A recent one came after the Bulldogs defeated local rival Fenwick High School on February 1.

All in all, with the wins and losses this season, the Bulldogs have come a long way and are still continuing to perform at the highest level that they can.