Jays overtake Bruins late, advance to title


Photo by Renata Williams

Josh Ripley

[heading size=”18″]Class 5 District 9: Bruin boys drop late one to rival Jefferson City [/heading]
Photo by Renata Williams
Senior Jackson Dubinski attempts a shot from beyond the arc in the district semifinal on Tuesday night. With RBHS dropping the game, this was Dubinski’s final game as a Bruin.
photo by Renata Williams

With 3:48 left in the fourth quarter of the Class 5 District 9 semifinal between Jefferson City and RBHS, the lights on the scoreboard in the Rock Bridge gym temporarily went out.

Ironically it occurred in the middle of a 16-1 Jays run that was putting the lights out on the Bruins’ season.

Despite Jefferson City star forward O.G. Anunoby sitting on the bench with a wrist injury, the third seeded Jays had no problem advancing to the district title game, pulling away in the fourth quarter en route to a convincing 74-62 victory over second seeded and the host Bruins.

The Jays were led by senior guard Harold Robertson who scored 19 of his game high 25 points in the second half.  He was joined in double figures by teammates Jacob White, DonDarian Jones and Rhylin Spence who poured in 13, 13, and 10 points respectively. Junior guard Ryan Kreklow led the Bruins with 18 points in the losing effort, followed closely by senior guard Jackson Dubinski who, playing in his final high school game, dropped in 17.  No other Rock Bridge player scored more than six.

The game was tightly contested for the first three quarters with Jefferson City  leading by four points at the end of the first quarter.  RBHS took a 31-29 lead into the locker room, before quickly relinquishing it back to the Jays in the third quarter.  Jeff City held a 39-35 lead midway through the third quarter before allowing the Bruins to go on a 7-0 run to take a 42-39 lead.

From there it was all Jays.

Jeff City responded with the devastating 16-1 run that stretched into the fourth quarter inflating their lead to 12.  The Bruins tried to make a comeback late as Kreklow and Dubinski drained a couple of threes, but each time RBHS got something going it would immediately be erased as Jeff City continually burned the Bruin press for easy bucket after easy bucket.  Eventually the Bruins went cold from deep, a recurring theme on the night as Rock Bridge shot an uncharacteristically poor 25% from three on the night, going 8-32.

“We didn’t shoot very well,” RBHS coach Jim Scanlon said.  “They were sharper than us. Congrats to them.”

The loss was a swift and stunning end of the careers of four Rock Bridge seniors. Scanlon spoke fondly of the group but said he felt the Bruins may have forced it a little too much.

Photo by Renata Williams
Members of the RBHS basketball team sit defeated after a season ending loss to rival Jefferson City in the district semifinal Tuesday night at Rock Bridge Gym.
photo by Renata Williams

“Our seniors have been great,” Scanlon said.  “Tonight though we rushed some shots.  We had a three point lead and rushed a couple of shots for no reason which led to run outs on the other end for them.  They never looked back.”

Jefferson City now moves on to play top seeded Hickman in the district championship game on Friday.  Hickman received a scare earlier in the day from fourth seeded Camdenton. It took a go ahead shot by Kewpies star junior guard Jimmy Whitt with eight seconds left in overtime for Hickman to put away the Lakers who gave the Kewpies all they could handle, just missing pulling off the upset in a 60-59 victory for Hickman.

Despite the fact that the Bruins have been eliminated, the final will still be played at Rock Bridge Gym, a fact that stings Scanlon who knows his team let one get away.

“The defense was bad tonight,” Scanlon said.  “Anytime you give up 74 points you’re going to lose.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.”
by Josh Ripley