Basketball dominates Union tournament


Senior Eric Kuse prepares to shoot a free throw in a game against Battle on Jan. 23. This weekend the Bruins cruised through the Union tournament winning the title 42-36 over Francis Borgia.

John Flanegin

The boys’ basketball team will be adding another piece of silverware to the already brimming RBHS trophy cases after becoming champions of the Union Tournament Saturday night with their defeat of Francis Borgia 42-36. The win brought the team to 12-2 and capped off a dominant tournament run by the Bruins outscoring their opponents 201-122 over the course of three games.
6’5 senior forward Eric Kuse and his teammates were riding high after a 79-27 throttling of Northwest and 80-59 victory against Lutheran South coming in the quarter and semifinal games, and fearless moving into their final matchup against the Knights of St. Francis Borgia.
“We were pretty confident, but we also knew that we were playing in a pretty tough atmosphere that would be rooting against us.” Kuse said, “However we were focused and ready to bring the hardware home.”
Francis Borgia proved from tipoff to be a tough opponent never granting the Bruins to build leads like they had amassed in their past two games, and trailed RBHS by five heading into the second half.
“They were very well coached and had great fundamentals,” junior sharpshooter Karson Ringdahl said.
The Knights offense became a focal point for the Bruins, forcing Coach Jim Scanlon and his squad to make multiple adjustments throughout the game.
“We just focused on the defensive aspect of the game,” Ringdahl said, “and knew the offense would come.”
And with the Bruins never having a bigger lead than five throughout the entirety of the match up, RBHS’ defense stepped up as the game reached its final moments. After Borgia hit a deep three the Bruin’s lead was cut to 38-36 with 1:09 remaining in the fourth and final quarter, igniting the Bruins defense to hold the Knights as the clock wound down. This coupled with the clutch free throw conversions by tournament MVP Ryan Krecklow and big man Tre Williams pushed RBHS toward their first bout as tournament champions during the 2014-15 season, and earned both Williams and Kuse spots on the Union All-Tournament team.
“It’s a pretty good honor [being named to the All-Tournament team] and reward knowing that I’m playing well in my last season as a Bruin,” Kuse said. “I’m even more proud that the hard work is paying off from practice.”
With Districts a month away Kuse and Ringdahl both understand that the team is in the final stretch of the season and must continue to push themselves in practice and in future games.
“We need to get better each day,” Kuse said, “and our main goal is to win a district title in arguably the toughest district in the state.”