Girls basketball begins quest for fourth straight title


Since March 2008, the Lady Bruins first trip to the state tournament, RBHS has claimed six district championships and three state titles. The 2014 Lady Bruins have accounted for half of the district crowns and two straight state championships. RBHS will attempt to make it three when they start the Final Four tonight at Mizzou Arena, 5:10pm. They face St. Joseph’s Academy. photo by Maribeth Eiken

Harsh Singh

In 2012, the Bruin girls basketball team won its second state title in school history against the Blue Spring Wildcats. A year later, RBHS defended its state title after a narrow 45-38 win against St. Joseph’s Academy.
The Bruins managed to win their third consecutive state title behind Bri Porter’s resurgent comeback from injury against Lee’s Summit North 62-45 in a game in which they never trailed.
After losing four senior members from the varsity team, RBHS has already begun conditioning to be ready to compete in a season where people, both players and fans, expect nothing less than a state title. Senior Cierra Porter is one of the veterans who will lead the team.
“We honestly don’t even think about the expectations other people have for us,” Porter said. “We just have fun playing the sport we love.”
The absence of the seniors will present a new challenge for RBHS as all four members who left had a big presence on the team. Head coach Jill Nagel said the loss of those four seniors will give the team extra motivation.
“Last year’s senior class was an exceptional class. Graduation occurs each year though, so it isn’t like we have never experienced graduating talented players with high character,” Nagel said. “It is the goal of our program to do just that — graduate talented players with high character who go on to positively impact the community in which they live.”
Along with the motivation, the girls also have a positive attitude about everything coming ahead of them. Senior Sophie Cunningham said everyone is willing to step up their game to fill in for the seniors who left.
“We want to come in and work hard during season but also enjoy each step of the journey,” Cunningham said. “Our attitude doesn’t really change even if the season hasn’t started yet.”
The Bruins also know they can win their fourth consecutive state title this year. However, Nagel said they aren’t looking that far ahead at the moment.
“The players work together to develop the goals and values for our team which are specific to that team. I am confident not one of their goals will list anything along the lines of four-peat,” Nagel said. “The season is a journey and if we meet our goals and stay true to our values the season will be a success regardless of the final outcome.”
Cunningham agrees with Nagel about taking it step by step, instead of focusing on the final outcome of the state tournament.
“We aren’t looking that far forward. We take one game at a time,” Cunningham said. “If that leads us to a four-peat, that would be amazing.”
View last year’s state title win:

By Harsh Singh
Video by Renata Williams