Bruins dismantle Spartans in crosstown match


Ji-Ho Lee

Both RBHS basketball teams were on the court today, Tuesday, Feb. 21. While the girls squad played host to Blue Springs, the boys traveled to east side of town, facing Battle High School (BHS) for the second time this year.
In the first contest between the Columbia schools, the Bruins defeated the Spartans at home, 79-54. RBHS (17-4) hoped to come away with a similar outcome, while BHS sought a late-season upset (11-14).
The Bruins controlled the first quarter of the game, stymieing the Spartan offense which led to easy transition points. At the end of the first quarter, RBHS held a 21-10 advantage.
“We stopped BHS’s two best scorers and forced the rest of their team to step up. That’s what made us successful,” senior forward Jacob Lambert said. “In particular, [senior guard] Justin [Hajicek] shut down their best player.”
A 7-0 run from the Bruins in the middle of the second quarter eventuated to a 17 point lead. While the team failed to score for the final three minutes of the half, RBHS still boasted a comfortable 37-26 lead over BHS going into the intermission.
In the third quarter, the Bruins, sparked by sophomore guard Ja’Monta Black, exhibited their offensive prowess against their opponents. Outscoring the Spartans 20-7 in the third quarter, the Bruins gained momentum and a dominant lead, neither of which were relinquished.
“Our team just played really well defensively. Defense wins games and that’s what we did best tonight,” Black said. “I felt good offensively and my shot was just falling. My team knew that and kept giving me the ball with open looks. I give all the credit to my teammates.”
Improving to 18-4 on the year, the Bruins defeated BHS 71-40.
“Our defense was solid,” Hajicek said. “Anytime you can hold a team to 40 points, you have a really good shot to win. Ja’Monta was especially good offensively, too.”
RBHS plays Helias Catholic in their final game of the regular season on Friday, Feb. 24, before entering postseason play.
“It’s good to have some momentum, going into the next game and districts,” Hajicek said. “Right now, we’re focused on Helias and then we’ll start thinking about districts.”