Girls Basketball begins quest for four


Junior guard Bri Ellis holds the ball while defended by senior Kewpie Emily Miller. Photo by Madeline Kuligowski.

Graham Ratermann

Girl’s basketball is in familiar waters. After defeating crosstown rival Hickman 51-39 in the class five district nine title game the Bruins move into the state tournament.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season was win districts and then set new goals,” senior point guard Carly Offerdahl said. “Now that we have done that our goal is to win sectionals and then set new goals. Thats the way we have to do it. Take one game at a time and focus on that opponent.”
The Bruins begin their quest for a historic four straight state titles in sectional play against the Camdenton Lakers (14-13) tonight at 7:45 p.m. at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo. and appear to be peaking at the right time.
Offerdahl attributes the team hitting their stride with a change in mentality.
“The biggest thing is our practices,” Offerdahl said. “Ever since the loss against Hickman earlier in the season, our intensity picked up and we went harder. All of us and coach knew that this is what we needed if we wanted to reach our goals at the end of the season.”
The Bruins enter the state tournament with plenty of experience after completing playoff runs the last three years.
“Each year it is a completely new experience because of how different the girls are but it is semi-comforting knowing what it feels like to have been in this situation before,” senior guard Sophie Cunningham said. “At this time of the season you have to play your best game every game because anything can happen during the postseason.”
With a win the Bruins advance to the quarterfinals in what potentially will be a tough match up where they will play the winner of Republic (24-3) and Kickapoo (23-5) ranked third and second in the state respectively by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association.
RBHS is currently ranked fifth but is the team to beat in the state tournament.
“There has been a target on our back every season,” Offerdahl said. “Everyone wants to play us. We take every opponent the same way. No matter the rivalry or the past. We play them the way we play Rock Bridge basketball. And we get the job done. I feel like we thrive under pressure.”
The Bruins are currently ranked fifth, but knocking off higher ranked teams isn’t an issue as the Bruins ended number one ranked Hickman’s season to win districts, avenging a Jan. 28 loss.
“I think it’s every teams expectations to win state,” Cunningham said. “So right now we need to focus one game at a time to meet our expectations for this year.”