Basketball ready for Jeff City, Anunoby


Junior Tre Williams slams home a dunk in a game against Battle High School on Jan. 23. Photo by Devesh Kumar

Harsh Singh

When the boys basketball team started its season about a month ago, the Bruins took instant notice of the Feb. 3 matchup against Jeff City.  With 12 games out of the way, they are now seeking revenge against their rival opponents.
Last March, the district finals played at RBHS didn’t include the Bruins. Instead it was Jeff City, a team that stole the fourth quarter against the Bruins with a 16-1 run and eventually stole a win. Senior forward Eric Kuse said knowing there is a districts final being played at their home court yet not participating in it was a horrible feeling.
“Losing to them last year in the way that we did on our home floor stung,” Kuse said. “It left me and some of the other players with a bad taste in our mouths.”
Now, the Bruins have a shot to overcome the anger left by the loss against the Jays. RBHS is sitting at 10-2 with their last game on Jan. 23 being a commanding 66-41 win against Battle High School. Kuse said there were a lot of positives to take from the dominating win.
“Hopefully it shows us that when we run and get out into transition, we are able to knock down shots and take a lead,” Kuse said. “Also, we did a good job rebounding and taking care of the ball which is vital when playing big games.”
With a lot of important games coming up, including the one against Jays, Kuse’s teammate junior forward Karson Ringdahl said intense practices are a key to building momentum.
“We really focus on having crisper more focused practices,” Ringdahl said. “This way, we make sure we come out sharp since there is a less margin for error.”
Since the team has only played 11 games so far, most of their tough moments are still to come. Athletic director David Egan said the month of February will be the team’s biggest test.
“I think February is going to be a really informative month to tell us how good of a team they are,” Egan said. “The boys basketball program, going back many years, has won 20 to 25 games each year, and I think we are on track to do that again. However, with games against Hickman, Jeff City, and Rockhurst coming up this month, we will be able to really tell how everything goes.”
Egan believes even without the loss last year, this game would still be big because of the huge rivalry between the two teams.
“Jeff City is always a rival. Regardless of records, it’s always going to be competitive. Jeff City has a player recruited by Indiana so they are definitely a talented team,” Egan said. “Coach Scanlon is really good at preparing a team for big games, so I have full belief in him.”
Agreeing with Egan, Kuse said the team is about to go through its toughest part if the season. Jeff City presents a unique challenge from OG Anunoby, an Indiana University recruit. Last year, Anunoby was injured during the districts match against the Bruins.
“It has to be hard tough defense against him,” Kuse said. “Maybe we will have to double him down in the post tom make it hard for him. But as far as who’s on him is undecided yet.”
By Harsh Singh