Lady Bruins prepare for state championship game


Daphne Yu

A look at their journey

Tonight, the Lady Bruins will play at their second consecutive state championship game for a chance to defend their state title. Take a look at their post-season journey.
[heading style=”1″]Girls Basketball claws through semi-finals[/heading] Yesterday, the RBHS edged out the Blue Springs Wildcats 43-32 in a tight game to advance to the championship game Saturday, March 16. They will face St. Joseph’s Academy for the second time this year. The last time Lady Bruins played the Angels, they won 55-40.
Photos by Asa Lory
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[heading style=”1″]Lady Bruins breeze past quarterfinals[/heading]

The girls huddle before tip-off. Photo by Tyler Dunlap
The girls huddle before tip-off. Photo by Tyler Dunlap
On Saturday, March 9, the Lady Bruins  played Nixa in the state basketball quarterfinals, in Springfield, Mo. Despite a three hour bus ride, the Bruins came out ready to play. The Bruins shut down Nixa in defense throughout the game, out-rebounding them 34-19 and forcing more than 20 turnovers. The Bruins won 50-22 to advance to the final four.
“Nixa has some amazing shooters and so we knew we had to lock them down. We wanted to come out strong and leave everything on the floor,” senior Makenzie Skrabal said. “It was a late game so having to wait all day to play makes it a little tiring. and then riding on a bus for three hours makes it hard to come out with a lot of energy, but we did really well with it all.”
In the first quarter, the Bruins started the game with a lot of vigor. Finding ways to get easy baskets and open shots, the Bruins took a strong lead early in the game. The first quarter ended with the Bruins on top 18-0.
Throughout the game, the RBHS girls kept the floor well-spread on the offensive side, which created many open three pointers Bruin sharpshooters,  Scrabal and sophomore  Sophie Cunningham. At halftime the Bruins were in the lead 24-8. But despite the comfortable lead, the Bruins played even better in the second half.
“In Nixa’s semi-district game, they came back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter,” Skrabal said. “So we just kept telling each other to keep pushing and not let up.”
Cunningham led the team with 19 points, scoring 15 in the second half on 6-for-6 shooting. Junior Chayla Cheadle also added 11 points and sophomore Cierra Porter shut down Nixa on defense with six rebounds and three blocked shots.
“We just kept telling each other to keep pushing and not let up,” Scrabal said. “Nixa has some amazing shooters, and we knew we had to lock them down. We left everything on the floor.”
By Tyler Dunlap
Additional reporting by Daphne Yu
[nggallery id=275] Photos by Tyler Dunlap
[heading style=”1″]Girls basketball dominates sectionals[/heading] Last night, the RBHS girls basketball team left the South lot a little after 4:30 p.m. to travel to Camdenton, Mo to play the Waynesville Tigers for a chance to advance to the Final Four. After sitting through the boys game’s overtime, the girls didn’t begin their game until a little after 8 p.m. After starting off with a strong quarter, the girls ended the first half with a 40-18 lead. They came back onto the hardwood dominating the second half with a 63-32 win. The girls will play the Nixa Eagles at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
[nggallery id=268] Photos by Patrick Smith
[heading style=”1″]Girls basketball defeats Kewpies, takes district championship[/heading]
Sophomore Chayla Cheadle takes the offensive at Thursday night’s game against the Jefferson City Jays. Bruins won 63-11. Photo by Patrick Smith
Sophomore Chayla Cheadle takes the offensive at Thursday night’s game against the Jefferson City Jays. Bruins won 63-11. Photo by Patrick Smith
The girls basketball team (21-5) competed against Hickman High School today in the district 9 championship game, where the Lady Bruins came out on top, winning 50-38. Having played against and defeated HHS once before back in January, this game was a heated rematch of cross town rivalry. Stakes weren’t the only thing that were high – emotions did too, with the a crowd filled with fans from both teams cheering on their school.
“We did very well considering the crowd and the excitement of it being the district championship,” senior Makenzie Skrabal said. “We came out strong and didn’t give them much of a chance.”
Unlike the last time RBHS faced HHS, the Lady Bruins started the game off strong, ending the first quarter with a 12-6 lead. While the Kewpies put some pressure on the Bruins in the second quarter, almost tying the score, RBHS intensified their defense and pulled through the first half with a 23-18 lead. By the end of the third quarter, HHS was almost 10 points behind the Bruins, and the RBHS girls only further widened the gap in the last quarter of the game, winning it all with a final score of 50-38.
After today’s game, the girls will move onto Sectionals March 6 at Camdenton high school, where they will play against the Waynesville Tigers (13-13) for a chance to further their state journey. The girls have high hopes that their season will continue as it did last year – ending it with a state championship victory.
“I think we have a good chance,” Makenzie Skrabal said. “As long as we keep playing and practicing the way we have been then we have a really good chance of making it to state.”
By Carleigh Thrower and Daphne Yu
[heading style=”1″]Lady Bruins smash through first round of districts[/heading]
Senior Kennedy Smith, forward, posts up on the block to power through the arms of her defender to for a hard layup. Photo by Patrick Smith
Senior Kennedy Smith, forward, posts up on the block to power through the arms of her defender to for a hard layup. Photo by Patrick Smith
The RBHS girls basketball team played the Jefferson City Jays in the district game at Hickman high school Feb. 28, where they won with a decisive victory of 63-11. Both RBHS and Hickman students came out to support the Lady Bruins, who played the Jays last year and the year before in the district championships. While the Bruins ended the game with a victorious 75-67 last year, they lost the district championship in 2010-2011 to Jefferson city in a heartbreaking game where the Jays beat them out with a 34-33 win. They were not going to let that happen this year.
The game started with the Bruins taking an early lead through playing good defense and spreading the floor with good ball movement on the offensive side of the court. RBHS ended the first quarter comfortably with a 27-0 score, 21 of the points from three-pointers. Coming back into the second quarter, the Bruins again left Jefferson City no chance to make a dent. with 4 minutes 22 seconds left in the first half, Bruins still had a 31-0 lead.
“We were passing the ball really well and hitting important shots in the first quarter,” junior Elizabeth Best said. “We were spreading the floor really well and giving a lot of our players opportunities to make plays.”
The Bruins continued their domination in the second quarter. They went on multiple scoring streaks and ended the first half with a score of 37-4. The second half was no different. Bruins again showed their dominance, and only let Jefferson City slip past them with a minimal score of six points. At the end of the third quarter, RBHS still held the lead, now 54-6. With the game pulling away into the fourth quarter, the Jays made more progress, making more shots, but the Bruins were too far ahead. The game ended with RBHS taking the win 63-11. RBHS will play Hickman High school 5 p.m. March 2 at Hickman High School for the district championship title and a chance to move on to sectionals.
“We are preparing for it like any other game,” Best said, “but we are being more focused.”
By Tyler Dunlap
Photos by Patrick Smith
[nggallery id=264] [heading style=”1″]Girls basketball seniors end season with decisive victory[/heading] Yesterday, Feb. 23, the RBHS girls basketball team played against Nernix Hall at home in the team’s ‘Senior Night’ game which celebrated the seniors’ last home game of the season.  The seniors went out on a high note at home, beating Nernix Hall 71-38, by a remarkable 33 points.  The winning effort was led by Sophomore Guard Sophie Cunningham with 17 points and Senior Guard Makenzie Skrabal with 13 points.
It was a bitter sweet victory for the team.  On one end it was great for the seniors to finish with such a strong win in front of the home crowd one last time, fortifying their confidence heading into district play, but it was also melancholy in a way as the seniors new it was their last home game after three years of playing in the RBHS gym.
“Everyone was really pumped up for this last game with it being senior night and all,” senior Makenzie Skrabal siad. “So it was nice to win the last home game.”
With the milestone of the last regular season and last home game behind them, the team’s focus is now fully on the postseason, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Hickman High School.  The RBHS girls basketball team couldn’t have ended the season on a higher note with three straight decisive victories.  The team hopes to carry this momentum with them into Tuesday’s game and on, throughout the rest of the postseason. With their home playing career now over, the seniors look to finish off their final campaign with postseason success.
“We’ve been through a lot to be able to make it through an injury and come back stronger than ever,” Skrabal siad. “Being able to start my senior year with such a great team and such amazing teammates … [we’ve] only lost to one in-state team.”
By Sam Mitchell
For more on this year’s girls basketball team, click here.