Trio of guards help Bruins bounce back

Photo by Maribeth Eiken

Sophomore guard Drake short watches as his Bruin teammate Josh Broadus jumps through defenders on his way to make a lay-up last night against Branson. Broadus made the shot, advancing the 12 point lead for Rock Bridge, helping them to an ultimate victory. Photo by Maribeth Eiken

Brayden Parker

[heading]Bruins back on track; Rock Bridge 75, Branson 50 [/heading] Following a quick first quarter of play that found the home team down 12-9 to the Branson Pirates (6-5), the general mood in the Rock Bridge Gym seemed to be more worry than confidence in the Bruins recent play. Coming off a 28 point blowout loss at the hands of Kansas City powerhouse Blue Spring South, RBHS (8-2) appeared to get off to another slow start Friday night against a sub-par club.
All doubts were put aside as the Bruins stormed back in the final three minutes of the second quarter of play. Led by the continual shooting of guards junior Ryan Kreklow and senior Jackson Dubinski, the Bruins finished the half on a 13-2 run solidified by a buzzer beating three by Kreklow. RBHS never looked back and finished off a 25 blowout win of their own, sealing the game 75-50.
Photo by Maribeth Eiken
Senior guard Zach Carroll makes his way to the outside after finding no room for a lay-up under the basket.
Photo by Maribeth Eiken
“This [win] is really important for us,” RBHS head basketball coach Jim Scanlon said. “We hadn’t played good in a month. We’d didn’t play good right before Christmas, we didn’t play good in our two since then. We won one of them but we haven’t played good team basketball and we didn’t look like Rock Bridge Basketball. I thought tonight as the game went on I thought this looks familiar. We look like a good team.”
Despite the sluggish start, the Bruins finished with 21 of 37 from the floor led by Kreklow’s 22 points. The junior guard, who took 12 shots from the floor in the first half with minimal success, began to dish out the ball as the game reumed in the second half. Sharing the ball with teammates Dubinksi, who finished with 18 on 6-9 shooting, and senior guard Zach Carroll who finished with 16, the trio of Bruin guards combined for 56 of RBHS total points on the night.
“Basketball is a little bit of everybody,” Scanlon said. “That’s just team basketball and we haven’t had that the past coupe of times. It was good to see us spread the wealth.”
While third in team scoring on the evening, Carroll provided the impressive statistic from the game, shooting 4-5 from beyond the arc, three of which came in quick succession during the third period of play.
“I thought I played pretty well,” Carroll said. “I shot well but, all the guards were finding me open in the corner. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to shoot as well.”
While Carroll’s three pointers pushed the Bruins lead during the second half, the physical defensive play on the other end of the floor slowed down the charge of Branson guard DaQuan Ervin. The senior point guard attempted 16 shots from the floor and seven behind the line. Adding two free throws, Ervin finished with a game high 26 points. However. without consistent distribution across the floor the Pirates were unable to find open looks often turning over the ball to RBHS opening up an aggressive transition game for the Bruins who made the most of the fast break offense to seal the game.
“[This win] shows how resilient we are,” Carroll said. “We took a beating on Tuesday and this just shows how resilient we are by coming back and getting a 25 point win when we thought the game was going to be more close. They were are pretty good team but, it just shows how much heart we have and we have the will to win.”
by Brayden Parker
RBHS returns two the action Thurs. Jan 16 at the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tournament. The Bruins return to Columbia on Jan. 30 when they take on No. 1 Hickman.