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Basketball

Dynamic duo expected to lead strong RB

Damonta Henry and Miki Ljuboja give Bulldogs reason for excitement

Miki Ljuboja drives hard to the basket at Riverside Brookfield boys basketball practice on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.
Miki Ljuboja drives hard to the basket at Riverside Brookfield boys basketball practice on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

At a glance
COACH
Tom McCloskey
2011-12 RECORD 23-5 (12-0 Metro Suburban)
TOP PLAYERS
Damonta Henry    sr.    G
Will Kincanon    jr.    G
Liam Lesniak    sr.    F
Miki Ljuboja    sr.    C
Eric Loury    sr.    G
FIRST GAME 8 p.m. Tuesday at home vs. Urban Prep in VandeMerkt Thanksgiving Classic

11
Consecutive conference titles for RB, which went undefeated in the Metro Suburban Conference the last two seasons

WHAT TO WATCH
The Bulldogs look to be one of the strongest teams in the area with a pair of standouts returning from last year’s 23-5 team and a number of other talented players to add depth.

Damonta Henry, last year’s Suburban Life All-Area MVP, and 6-foot-8 Mike Ljuboja will anchor RB. Henry is a fast and athletic point guard that can put up points in a hurry while Ljuboja has the ability to dominate a game inside.

“They were a big part of the 16-game winning streak we had in the second half of the year,” coach Tom McCloskey said. “We expect them to have big years, but also Liam Lesniak played a lot last year and Eric Loury was a starter.”

The four seniors will be aided by a number of younger players with potential. 6-foot-3 junior Will Kincanon, who was a standout on the baseball team last spring, could emerge as a key player. McCloskey also mentioned 6-foot-6 Jack VandeMerkt, Jack Gibson and Hunter Claire as names to watch.

RB was moved up to Class 4A this year, but still has the talent to make a deep playoff run depending on the sectional draw. In order to have a successful season, McCloskey thinks shot selection will be crucial.

“We have a lot of guys who can score so we have to make sure we’re taking good shots,” McCloskey said. “Secondly I think rebounding is a key. I think it’s something we really need to focus on and just playing together and learning roles.”

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