RBHS varsity boys basketball raises defense to best HCHS, 61-52

To finish out the final game of the regular season, the RBHS varsity boys basketball team enjoyed a close game and victory against Helias Catholic High School (HCHS), Feb. 25.

In the opening four minutes of the game, RBHS traded quick possessions with HCHS and spent most of the time running up and down the court, with sophomore Sam Kaiser tossing the ball up in the paint for the first score of the game.

With three minutes and 53 seconds left in the first quarter, HCHS called a timeout and proceeded to slow down the pace of the game, capitalizing on a few fumbled rebounds and missed shots by the Bruins to keep themselves in the game. 

With the starting five remaining in play for the majority of the first quarter, quick witted passes by junior Brady Bowers and patient shots from senior Hudson Dercher gave RBHS the lead by three with 19 points to finish the quarter strong. 

“Our confidence and energy definitely carried us to this win tonight,” Bowers said. “In the locker room before and even to start the game, everyone seemed to be on the same page and everybody was ready to play which we needed.”

The second quarter saw struggles for the Bruins, as most of the starting five were subbed out for some rest, bringing in juniors Andrew May and Kanyon Hummel. 

HCHS opened with a quick two points, to which RBHS responded with two points of their own after a long-winded possession. Seeing the opening, HCHS cycled the ball between two of their guards repeatedly, in attempts to overwhelm the man-to-man coverage and exploit any chance they may have.

A series of fouls gave HCHS possession, with Kaiser accumulating a charging foul after a flop from his defender. As the scoreboard ticked by, Dercher succeeded in sinking a shot with three minutes and 47 seconds left on the clock to keep momentum moving for the Bruins.

At the buzzer, HCHS led 34-30 over the Bruins, with another made shot by HCHS guard Desmond White to send a booing RBHS student section into halftime.

During the brief reprieve, the courtwarming court was asked to step out onto the court. One of the court members, senior Will Andrews was crowned as the courtwarming royal amid masses of applause and cheers from RBHS students and parents alike.

Out of the gate in the second half, RBHS showed a new look on defense and a reinvigorated offense. Kaiser once again was fouled as the result of a flop, even as junior Mark Hajicek sunk a two to start things off.

In a battle for the lead, both schools went back and forth, and RBHS flaunted their potential with excellent passing and communication. Some missed shots and dropped rebounds, however, prevented them from securing a lead.

HCHS once again called a time out with three minutes and fifteen seconds left on the play clock before launching back into action until the buzzer sounded with the score tied at 42 points.

Turning it into a higher gear, RBHS entered the fourth quarter with excellent defense and prevented HCHS from scoring on several possessions. A series of threes from Bowers and Dercher gave the Bruins a growing lead that started with just under five minutes left on the clock.

Coach Jim Scanlon said the team has some things to work on, but made the adjustments necessary for the comeback.

“[The team] tightened up the defense, which was outstanding,” Scanlon said. “[They] played with much more toughness.”

With only a minute and a half remaining in the quarter, HCHS began fouling with hopes to make it back into the lead. While several missed free throws could have promised an opportunity, RBHS kept it locked down, allowing the lead to grow even further until the end of the game.

The final result was a victory for RBHS, who won 61-52 over HCHS in the last game of the regular season. Yet with districts approaching on Monday, the team still has to keep their heads up and eyes forward.

Bowers said the night was a success, and the team did what they needed to for the win.

“We’ve been playing good competition all year which has prepared us going into districts,” Bowers said. “We had a very good win tonight. I think what contributed most was our guards locking down on theirs and hitting shots on offense when we needed to.”


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