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Freshmen phenoms making big impact for RB girls basketball

Samantha Bloom sets for a free throw in Thursday's game against Illiana Christian. Bloom is part of a freshmen trio starring for Riverside Brookfield's girls basketball team this season.
Samantha Bloom sets for a free throw in Thursday's game against Illiana Christian. Bloom is part of a freshmen trio starring for Riverside Brookfield's girls basketball team this season.

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Brookfield girls basketball team hosted an early senior night on Thursday. Senior nights are a celebration of the time and effort the veterans of the program have put in.

However, it’s hard not to get caught up in the freshmen the Bulldogs are putting out on the floor.

Guards Samantha Bloom and Lindsay Hoyd and 6-foot-5 center Dane Rettke are starring despite their youth. The three freshmen have been a big part of why the Bulldogs won their first 10 games.

“The one that has probably gotten the least amount of press so far is Hoyd, and she is a lights out shooter,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “Bloom breaks down the defense, she kicks to Hoyd, and then we have Dana inside. We have a little triumvirate there that’s kind of tough to stop.

“The future is bright here, there’s no doubt about it.”

Till also pointed out that they have just four seniors on the roster: Carolina Waas, Marisa Jensen, Samantha Cook and Sydney Martinez. Those four got the attention in Thursday’s 75-36 win over Illiana Christian, but the freshmen were RB’s only double digit scorers.

Bloom scored a game-high 18. Hoyd had 12 on four first-half 3-pointers. Rettke had 10 points, all in the first half, and a team-high six rebounds.

The three have been playing together since fourth grade, according to Hoyd, and have developed a chemistry together. Their biggest accomplishment has been jelling with the rest of the Bulldogs.

“At first it was kind of shaky,” Bloom said. “I didn’t know if everyone would like the freshmen on varsity, but it’s nice now. We’re all a team. We’re all happy. It’s a good chemistry.”

In warmups it’s easy to see Bloom has very practiced skills. She performs effortless crossovers up and down the court. As point guard, she’s not shy to drive into the lane or take an open three. She is always the first to go up to a teammate to congratulate them for a big play or console them after a bad one.

All those traits make it no surprise that she’s a coach’s daughter. Her dad coaches basketball and works at Morton.

“He helps me a lot and he’s coached me since I was three,” Bloom said. “I like being able to help everyone and I like passing more than taking it to the hole. I have control [as a point guard]. I can pass it to the wings and decide to run the offenses.”

It seems obvious that, at 6-foot-5, Rettke was always going to be on the varsity team. Bloom and Hoyd said they had nerves about making the team. Now it’s clear they never had anything to worry about.

“We played over summer with the varsity, but before tryouts I was really nervous,” Hoyd said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it. I wasn’t really confident, but it turned out good.

“The next four years I’m excited to play with those two freshmen. We work really well together.”

RB 75, Illiana Christian 36

RB scoring leaders

• Samantha Bloom, 18 points

• Lindsay Hoyd, 12 points

• Dana Rettke, 10 points

RB 51, Richards 33

RB scoring leaders

• Hoyd, 24 points

• Rettke, 10 points

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