Fenton guard Tina Guarino is one of two seniors on the team and Tuesday marked the last visit to Riverside-Brookfield, next door to the Brookfield Zoo.
While a win was not in the cards as the Bulldogs surged to a big early lead on the way to a 67-33 victory over the Bison, Guarino reminisced after the game while maintaining a positive, resilient attitude that will help carry the team through the rest of the season.
"For me it was my last game in this gym," Guarino said. "We tried to get back to our routine. That's not the team we should be and that's not the team we are. It was a rough night overall.
"We will head back to the gym (Wednesday) and try to fix all of our spots and get back to the team we are."
Guarino led all Fenton scorers with 16 points. Fellow senior Rachael Leschewski added 7 points. The Bison just couldn't overcome their own shaky shooting -- 2 of 10 from the field in the first quarter -- and got bit by the turnover bug with 12 in the first half.
"Give (the Bulldogs) the credit," said Fenton coach Tim Anderson. "We never got into any kind of rhythm. It wasn't even their pressure. It was self-inflicted. At their end they were knocking down their shots. We usually shoot better than this. Our wheels were spinning. "
This was the second conference victory of the season for R-B (19-4, 5-1 Metro Suburban Conference) over Fenton (12-4, 5-2). One of three freshmen who see significant playing time, guard Samantha Bloom was the catalyst for the Bulldogs. She has a sweet outside touch and is strong going to the hoop where she either finishes off the drive for a score or dishes to one of her post player teammates such as 6-foot-5 freshman center Dana Rettke or 5-10 junior forward Janae Dabney.
Bloom tallied a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs led 15-6 at the end of the first quarter thanks to 7 points from Bloom and had a 34-17 advantage a halftime.
"We try to be a multi-dimensional team," said R-B coach Dallas Till. "We want to score on all phases and facets. Samantha can drain the 3 and she can also attack the rim and create inside shots with little dishes."
Rettke was also a factor in the game, defending the rim with her height and long arms which changed some Fenton shot attempts.
One of the lighter moments came right at the start of the contest where Rettke and Guarino, who is only 5-5, squared off for the opening tip. Guarino stepped back and didn't attempt to jump. She joked that she gave that tip to Rettke.
"It was difficult," Guarino said of going against Rettke. "We knew we had to focus on our outside game. It wasn't at our strength tonight. Not much you can do if your shots can't fall.
"You have to work the inside. When the inside is pretty much blocked off, it is a rough one."