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The winningest high school basketball programs of the decade: No. 15 Riverside-Brookfield

The Sun-Times is counting down the 50 high school basketball programs with the most wins during the decade.

Riverside-Brookfield’s Daniko Jackson (1) runs into St. Joseph’s Jason Towers (22).
Riverside-Brookfield’s Daniko Jackson (1) runs into St. Joseph’s Jason Towers (22).
Sun-Times file photo

When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.

The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.

The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.

Earlier this year we broke down the decade’s best teams and best players. Now, with every season of the past decade complete, it’s time to look at the Chicago area programs who won the most.

This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.

We present No. 15 Riverside-Brookfield today and will add one program a day going forward.

15. RIVERSIDE-BROOKFIELD: 219-78

Decade’s biggest storyline: There was a lot of winning that took place throughout the decade, but the 2014-15 team broke through by winning the first sectional title in program history.

The Bulldogs, led by Daniko Jackson, Jalen Clanton, Sam Johnson and Mark Smith, beat Morton 66-61 in what remains an iconic game in Riverside-Brookfield history in what was a packed, raucous crowd at Morton.

R-B then fell to eventual state champ Stevenson and star Jalen Brunson in the supersectional.

Riverside-Brookfield’s Ryan Jackson (15) dribbles past Ridgewood’s John Caravia (3) in 2011.
Riverside-Brookfield’s Ryan Jackson (15) dribbles past Ridgewood’s John Caravia (3) in 2011.
Sun-Times file photo

Underrated highlight: The overall winning in the program stands out. The Bulldogs not only averaged 22 wins a season and twice set a school record for wins with 28 (2018-19 and 2014-15) but also won nine conference championships, four regional titles and the first-ever sectional in program history.

The Bulldogs churned out eight 20-plus win seasons over the course of the decade; prior to the 2010-11 season the program had a grand total of five the previous 50 years.

Player of the Decade: Ryan Jackson (2011)

All-Decade Team: Ryan Jackson (2011), Sam Johnson (2015), Zach Vaia (2019), Daniko Jackson (2016) and Jalen Clanton (2017)

Other decade highlights:

-Following a regional title victory over St. Francis and sectional semifinal win over Orr in 2011, the Bulldogs fell to Crane, 80-75, in the sectional championship.

-The program had four different players eclipse 1,000 career points, including Ryan Jackson, whose 1,541 points were the second most in school history, Jalen Clanton (1,334), Zach Vaia (1,047) and Damonta Henry (1,033). Plus, Paul Zilinskas (1,327), who transferred from Richards after his junior year, also scored more than 1,000 points in his career.

-Ryan Jackson broke the single-season scoring record with 732 points in the 2010-11 season, while Sam Johnson broke the single-season rebounding record with 390 in 2014-15.

-RB produced 19 different players who went on to play college basketball at some level.

-The Riverside-Brookfield Shootout continued to emerge and became the premier summer high school basketball event in Illinois.