Bruins take second in NKC tournament


Ji-Ho Lee

Entering the week with an 8-3 record, the Bruins competed in the North Kansas City tournament, seeking to add wins to an already impressive resume.
The team jumped out to an impressive start in the tournament against St. Pius X. A fast-paced first quarter led to a dominant lead, which was extended to a 42-15 advantage at halftime. The Bruins cruised in the second half to a comfortable 77-34 victory.
The semifinal match featured RBHS and tournament host North Kansas City. The Bruins jumped out to another fast start, holding a 34-22 lead at halftime. The combination of veteran experience, with the likes of senior guard Caleb Rodenbaugh, and youthful talent, highlighted by sophomore Isiaih Mosley, equated to an impressive second half and a 72-48 lead.
“We had a great first two games of the tournament,” Rodenbaugh said. “We had pretty solid pace and defense. Our offense was a little lackluster at times, but our defense kept us successful.”
In the championship game, the Bruins, ranked 12th in the state, faced Park Hill South (PHS), ranked 9th. RBHS got off to another fast start, but a talented PHS frontcourt reeled in the Bruins at the end of the first quarter.
“We knew what our gameplan was going into the game,” sophomore Isiaih Mosley said. “We just went cold on offense at the end of first quarter.”
The Bruins trailed 18-17 after the first eight minutes of play, but regained the lead at halftime, 32-27.
In the third, senior forward Eysan Wiley, along with Mosley, sparked the Bruin offense, propelling RBHS to a 46-36 lead.
“We played good basketball in the third,” Wiley said. “We had good momentum, we just couldn’t keep it up for the fourth quarter.”
The Bruins maintained a 10 point lead for the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but an 11-4 run over the following four minutes trimmed the lead to three. Still, RBHS held a five point lead in the final minute of regulation. After PHS drained a three-pointer, and sophomore Ja’Monta Black sank one of two free throws, another three-pointer, this one at the buzzer, tied the game at 56.
In overtime, RBHS protected a seven point lead with 75 seconds remaining. PHS exploded with a 7-0 run over the next 60 seconds to send the game to yet another overtime session.
In what would be the final quarter of play, the Bruins trailed by five with 45 seconds remaining. Unable to muster a comeback, the Bruins fell in devastating fashion, 76-71.
“It was a frustrating game because we had two different chances to finish the game out,” Wiley said. “It was a game that we definitely should have won. We just got too comfortable when we had a lead late in the game.”
The Bruins will host Hogan Prep on Friday, Jan. 27.
“We have to learn from this tournament and get better, especially the championship game,” Mosley said. “We know we can be a good team, but we have to move on and continue to improve.”