RBHS boys’ basketball falls to JCHS, close defeat

Josiah Anderson, Sports, A&E Editor

In a hard-fought game that came down to the wire, the Jeff City Jays (JCHS) edged past the Bruins at home to pull out a 62-55 win Tuesday, Jan. 31. 

JCHS won the tipoff but quickly turned over the ball. After a missed shot, sophomore forward Brady Davidson made the rebound and put it back up for two, giving RBHS the first score of the game and setting the tone for the remainder of the quarter.

Sloppy play abounded through the first eight minutes. Both teams turned the ball over repeatedly and struggled to get rebounds. In the end, the three-point attempts were the real game-changers for both sides. Both teams put them up, but only the Jays were able to get the points. At the buzzer to close out the first quarter, JCHS led the Bruins 15-17, a gap that RBHS narrowed with several quick passes to senior center Kanyon Hummel.

We fought. We dealt with some adversity and never gave up. [The team] played hard and were in a position to win, and [we] just came up short. [I’m] tremendously proud of our effort and toughness.

— Coach Jim Scanlon

“We’ve been working as a team to look for the ‘extra’ pass,” Davidson said. “For example, if we have a guy closing out on us and someone in the corner, we always look to swing that extra pass for a great shot instead of a good shot.”

Along with several substitutes on either team, JCHS came in with a different game plan on defense going into the second quarter. They stopped giving up passes to Hummel and played less aggressively, forcing RBHS to make some plays of their own. 

This change led to some hesitation and unfortunate miscues on the Bruins’ part, allowing the Jays to put up more points from beyond the arc and in the paint. The Bruins, however, saw more threes bounce in and pop out of the hoop, this time shot by sophomore guard Josue Muhirwa. 

By half-time, the Bruins limited the damage to a 13 point lead for the Jays with a score of 23-36. 

“Coming into the half, Coach just told us to suck it up and play,” Muhirwa said. “He told us we were playing like we were soft and that we had to really turn it up. So we turned it up and showed up big in the second half.”

Coming out of the first half, the Bruins looked like a new team. The shots started to drop, and the pressure defense forced several bad passes and mistakes from JCHS. Senior guards Brady Bowers and Andrew May were able to sink threes, out-scoring the Jays 18-10 in the quarter for a score of 41-46 to enter the final quarter.

After a huddle with Coach Jim Scanlon and a round of water, the Bruins were back on the court, charging out amidst a chorus of cheers from the RBHS student section.

“Coming out of the half, we knew we had to focus and lock in on defense and get good offensive possessions,” Davidson said. “Our defensive switch was very key for us. Our man in the first half wasn’t working how we wanted, so we switched to a zone and trapped a few times to force some turnovers.”

Up until the last minute of the fourth quarter, the Bruins and Jays were neck and neck. With 50 seconds left on the clock, a buried three by May narrowed the gap to two points. As the game drew closer to the end, JCHS was able to widen their gap through successful free throws and offensive stalling. A couple of missed shots and a layup kept the home team from closing the gap entirely. By the final buzzer, the score read 55-62 in favor of the Jays.

“We fought,” Scanlon said. “We dealt with some adversity and never gave up. [The team] played hard and were in a position to win, and [we] just came up short. [I’m] tremendously proud of our effort and toughness.”


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