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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 dominates Helias 74-49

Maui Danford
Squaring up for a three, senior Lexi Butts is looking to score the ball. The game ended in a 74-49 victory for the RBHS bruins over Helias on senior night.

RBHS varsity girls’ basketball defeated the Helias Crusaders 74-49 Feb. 22 in their Senior Night and last game before districts. The game won them the CMAC Conference Championship title, finishing the circuit 6-0, and their team record is now 21-5. 

The varsity girls went into the game without junior forward Tylor McCallister, who had suffered an ACL injury earlier this week. Head coach Jill Nagel said it was a “devastating” loss for the team because of the leadership McCallister provided on the court, but senior guard Lexi Butts was able to fill in as a starter and assist on multiple shots.

“We have more than just five people that are capable of starting, and we knew that from the very beginning of the season,” Nagel said. “Lexi’s done a tremendous job all year, and she did a great job stepping in tonight and taking over that point guard role.”

Helias captured the tipoff, and the Bruins struggled to keep their defense tight from the Crusaders cutting to the basket, proceeding into a brief timeout. Despite sophomore forward/center Jayda Porter scoring the team’s first point with a free throw, junior guard Elli Porter said that the Crusaders immediately exposed holes in their defense.

“With number 33 for Helias hitting three threes in the first half,” Elli Porter said, “it really challenged our defense to tighten up and our communication to get better.”

The Bruins, however, regained their footing and pushed their offensive with multiple wide-open layups and a rebound by junior guard Mari Miller, ending the first quarter with the team leading 21-17.

Going into the second quarter, Jayda Porter secured the first two points with a clean rebound before Elli Porter shot a nothing-but-net three-pointer. After multiple turnovers with the Crusaders, Elli Porter swiftly brought the ball to the other side of the court and scored another layup without any defense from Helias, bringing the Bruins into halftime at 36-23. Butts said the girls particularly shined in taking the ball from Helias and moving adeptly between defense and offense every quarter.

We had some really good transition baskets. These plays really pushed momentum for us in the game. The team’s energy really gets going when you can turn defensive into offensive.”

— Lexi Butts, senior


“We had some really good transition baskets,” Butts said. “These plays really pushed momentum for us in the game. The team’s energy really gets going when you can turn defensive into offensive.”

Helias took the first point of the third quarter with a free throw. The Bruins finally possessed the ball after the two teams tumultuously fought in a series of quick turnovers, and after Elli Porter secured the first three-pointer of the quarter, she went on to cleanly assist a layup from Jayda Porter. Both Elli Porter and Jayda Porter had individually scored 18 points for the Bruins at this point in the game, with the former eventually racking up 22 points in total.

With only a few minutes left in the quarter, Butts successfully took the ball from Helias, running across the court and providing a perfect assist to junior guard/forward Malia Chievous, who brought the score to 54-34. Elli Porter said that the team has significantly changed from the beginning of the season, with the players learning to work together more on the court. 

“Our team chemistry and communication has improved tremendously,” Porter said. “We are sharing the ball well and continuously picking each other up after a mistake.”

After Helias once again captured the first point of the fourth quarter, junior forward Allie Maltsberger scored the team a three-pointer, which was followed by the Bruins getting three points in a succession of open layups without any significant defense from the Crusaders. The girls then scored their last point of the game after a clean block from Miller, which allowed Butts to maneuver the ball to the opposite side and assist Chievous. 

Butts said the Bruins have played an especially challenging schedule this season, with Nagel doing so to fully prepare them for districts, where the team will essentially start back at 0-0.

“Our goal is to win districts and set new goals,” Butts said. “We’re taking our postseason one step at a time, hoping to get to our peak potential.”

Did you watch the varsity girls in their last game before districts? Let us know in the comments below. 

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About the Contributors
Julia Kim
Julia Kim, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Julia Kim is the co-editor-in-chief and Op/Ed editor for Southpaw and Bearing News. They are also co-president of Ethics Bowl and volunteer as a writer for The Xinsheng Project. In their free time, Julia likes to listen to music, read books and learn K-Pop dances.
Maui Danford
Maui Danford, Staff Photographer
Senior Mpawenayo (Maui) Danford is a staff photographer for Bearing News and Southpaw at Rock Bridge High School.

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