Boys basketball defeats Marshall in home opener

Ketti Horton, Staff Writer

RBHS boys basketball executed a strong win over Marshall High School (MHS) Monday, Nov. 29th. This was the home opener for the Bruins, and, because COVID-19 restrictions were eased, this included a full home student section. Senior guard Hudson Dercher said he was excited for the game and excited to see the crowd.

“We didn’t have a student section last year because of COVID-19,” Dercher said. “It was weird but it was definitely fun and added energy to the game.”

The game began with six-foot-eight junior Kanyon Hummel winning the tip off and getting the ball to junior guard Ben Linnemeyer. RBHS had a quick start, forcing a turnover on MHS point guard Dylan Arends. When the Bruins had the ball back, Dercher and Hummel’s smooth offensive dynamic allowed them a layup. This was a common theme throughout the game. Dercher had five assists when MHS called a timeout in the first quarter, after which Dercher went back in and hit a solid three-point shot. 

After Linnemeyer came into the second quarter hitting back to back three-pointers and a layup, he became a major offensive threat for the Bruins. Linnemeyer was the second leading scorer of Monday night’s game, with thirteen points.

“My teammates just found me in good spots,” Linnemeyer said. “They gave me opportunities for me to do something productive with the ball.”

My teammates just found me in good spots. They gave me opportunities for me to do something productive with the ball.

— Ben Linnemeyer, junior

Dercher got himself a steal and a fast break layup to enter halftime. With the Bruins leading 43-11 by the end of the first half, Linnemeyer said it was easier to stay focused than in anticipation.

“Our coaches did a really good job keeping us locked in, talking to us on the bench and keeping our energy up,” Linnemeyer said. “The student section also made it a lot easier to keep the energy up.”

Head coach Jim Scanlon said it is key for players to be able to stay in the zone while playing games with such a large margin of victory. 

“It is part of their job to remain focused,” Scanlon said. “Remain focused to improve their basketball fundamentals and skills.” 

The third quarter got off to a slower start than the previous two. A few minor ball handling errors, along with two team fouls, held the Bruins back offensively. 

“It’s just what happens in basketball,” Linnemeyer said. “Not every possession will be in our favor but we just gotta play through it.”

This dip in momentum was quickly quieted when junior Mark Hajicek got the ball to Hummel inside the paint, allowing him to throw up a strong two-handed dunk. Hummel was the game’s leading scorer with fourteen points.

The fourth quarter began with a drive through the lane and clean left hook shot by sophomore Sam Kaiser, bringing the score to 59-22. The Bruins put up seven more points in the fourth, only allowing MHS one point by free throw. 

Ending the game with nine assists and seven points, Dercher proved to be a key offensive leader of the team. As one of two seniors, Scanlon said Dercher will bring much to the team this season.

“Leadership and work ethic,” Scanlon said. “He loves basketball and is a tireless worker. Joy to coach.” 

After a strong 66-23 win, Dercher believes the team has what it takes to be successful this year.

“The difference between this team and past teams I’ve played with at Rock Bridge is there are lots of unselfish guys,” Dercher said. “Our team chemistry is through the roof.” 

Are you going to a basketball game this season? Let us know in the comments below.