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The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

RBHS varsity girls’ basketball wins against Fair Grove High School in home opener

Mari+Miller+%2811%29+dribbles+the+ball+down+the+court+to+shoot+for+the+Bruins.+
Adrianna Jackson
Mari Miller (11) dribbles the ball down the court to shoot for the Bruins.

For their first home game of the season Dec. 15, RBHS varsity girls’ basketball hosted the Fair Grove High School Eagles, winning 50-41. 

Starting the game Friday night, sophomore Jayda Porter, juniors Malia Chievous, Mari Miller and Elli Porter along with senior Lexi Butts set the stage for the season. After a rocky start with a quick turnover to Fair Grove, Miller secured the first three points of the game. 

Head Coach Jill Nagel said there were nerves leading up to the game, as their opponents remained undefeated since February. Additionally, the Fair Grove Eagles have a winning percentage of 82%, which Nagel said is “just insane,” and that it was a challenge for the Bruins “to be ready mentally and physically.”

“I think we got off to a jittery start, probably some of it being home opener and some of it playing a good team,” Nagel said. “I thought we did a good job at halftime [of] kind of hitting the reset button [and] taking a deep breath.” 

The Bruins were down junior guard Tylor McCallister, who is still recovering from an emergency surgery a few days prior to the game. Regardless, Nagel said the team did a good job of coming together and filling the void. Additionally, she said that while Jayda Porter and Miller are returning All-State players, any five players on the floor had a good guard and strong chemistry. 

Coach Nagel has developed a program [of] a winning tradition of excellence. I am proud to be on a team that has elite players and elite coaches who are always striving to be better. We have high standards and are driven to reach them.”

— Mari Miller, junior guard

Miller said she was excited for the home game, as having an active student section brought a motivating energy. After a tied score of 11-11 halfway through the second quarter, the Bruins pulled ahead 22-18 going into halftime. Both Miller and Elli Porter said the Bruins had great defense throughout the game, and Porter said she was especially happy with the connections she has made with the team her first year at RBHS.  

“I love this team and our chemistry so far,” Porter said. “Our expectations are really high this season, so I’m definitely looking forward to mak[ing] our goals [of] our execution on the offens[ive] end.”

Later in the game, RBHS saw a strong start in the second half, with Jayda Porter, Elli Porter and Miller instantly sinking multiple shots. By the end, Miller alone had 17 points — over 30% of the team’s overall points. 

“Coach Nagel has developed a program [of] a winning tradition of excellence,” Miller said. “I am proud to be on a team that has elite players and elite coaches who are always striving to be better. We have high standards and are driven to reach them.”

Even though the first home game was a success, Nagel said they still have their work cut out for them this season — the Bruins are set to play the top teams in the state with a very packed schedule. However, Nagel and Miller both have high hopes for the team this year, and look forward to the challenges ahead. 

“I am excited to play a tough schedule and compete against some of the best teams in Missouri,” Miller said. “I believe we are capable of going deep into the postseason and competing for a state championship.” 

Did you watch the Lady Bruins’ first home basketball game? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Contributor
McKenna Parker, Features Editor
Senior McKenna Parker is the Features Editor for Southpaw and Bearing News. She is also a member of NHS and Elementary United. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, writing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

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