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Gary Sutton (3) of Waubonsie Valley drives past Damonta Henry (23) of Riverside-Brookfield. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
After dropping a tough loss to Conant in Saturday morning’s semifinals of this year’s Tosh Holiday Classic at York, Riverside-Brookfield did something special in its third-place game against Waubonsie Valley on Saturday night.
“They played probably the best four quarters I’ve seen them play this year,” Riverside-Brookfield coach Tom McCloskey said. “I was really proud of our guys tonight, in a tough game to play in.”
The Bulldogs won 78-67 over Waubonsie Valley with the bane of the Warriors’ existence for much of the night being RB center Miki Ljuboja.
The big man’s size and strength in the post proved too much for the Warriors, as the 6-foot-8 senior netted 20 of his game-high 33 points before halftime in leading his side to a 41-32 lead.
“I give a hundred percent of the credit to my teammates,” Ljuboja said. “They found me in the right spots, all night tonight. I just had to seal (the defender) and I had a layup.”
The Bulldogs also got three-pointers from Jack VandeMerkt, Liam Lesniak, Damonta Henry, and Will Kincanon in the first half. The Bulldogs’ Eric Loury got into the act in the third quarter with a pair of treys, and Henry buried two more from long-range, including a trey from half-court at the buzzer to end the third quarter, and the Bulldogs led 67-50 heading into the fourth.
Riverside-Brookfield (12-4) put 26 points on the board in the third quarter, including five treys , and seven points from Ljuboja.
“Miki had a great game but I thought all five or our starters brought their ‘A’ games tonight,” McCloskey said.”This was a big win for us and a momentum-builder. And I thought Damonta Henry had an excellent tournament.”
Henry was one of 10 players from 12 teams named to the all-tournament team at York, as was Waubonsie’s Jared Brownridge.
Brownridge paced Waubonsie Valley (10-6) with 18 points, Bryan Jefferson netted 12, and Jack Cordes finished with 10 points. VandeMerkt scored 12 for Riverside-Brookfield, Henry had 11 points, and Eric Loury netted nine points.
The Bulldogs hit 10 three-pointers in the game to Waubonsie Valley’s seven. Riverside-Brookfield went 4-1 in tournament play while Waubonsie Valley went 3-2 at York.