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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 beats Cor Jesu Academy 60-51 in Final Four

photo courtesy of Audrey Stokes, MSHSAA Graphic Design/Social Media Assistant
Mari Miller (11) dribbles past a Cor Jesu Academy player in the 2024 MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown Class 6 Saturday, March 16.

With a nine-point win, the Lady Bruins defeated the Cor Jesu Academy Chargers March 16. The victory landed them the third-place spot in the 2024 MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown Class 6 at Mizzou Arena. 

RBHS went into Saturday’s game coming off a loss from the previous day, but they still entered the court with high energy and confidence. Head Coach Jill Nagel said she is proud of the team for “end[ing] it the right way,” but the quick turnaround between games made it a bit tricky. 

“We’ve played [Cor Jesu] once before so [we] kind of know what they do, but there really wasn’t any prep [time],” Nagel said. “[But] it’s our 32nd game of the year, [so] you just have to be you [and] do what you’ve done for 32 games. Give it all you got and play for one another.” 

Despite their loss March 15, RBHS started off strong in the first quarter, with sophomore center/forward Jayda Porter getting the tip-off and scoring the first two points. Not long into the game, the Chargers fouled junior guard Mari Miller, who landed the next two points from her free throws. 

The Bruins had strategic defense in the first quarter, with two blocks from Miller and one from Porter. A travel by the Chargers turned the ball back over to RBHS, and junior forward Nyah Strupp assisted Porter in a layup. The Bruins also worked well playing offense, going straight for the net with confidence throughout the quarter.

Towards the end of the first quarter, Porter made the shot that put her at 1,000 career points, and the crowd was ecstatic. By this point, she alone had scored 14 points, and she played 30.15 minutes total. Porter said it is always a team effort, and that she wouldn’t be where she is without them. 

“It’s not just me, my teammates always are looking for me to get the ball,” Porter said. “It’s really through them, I can’t do it alone.” 

After junior forward Eva Corrado’s foul at the start of the second quarter, sophomore forward Cora Smith made a swift three-pointer, followed by one from Cor Jesu as well. Nagel called a time-out with four minutes remaining, then put in freshman guard Ann Volmert who scored her first points of the game with a three-pointer. 

Volmert pushed hard the rest of the quarter, consistently fighting for the ball and cutting to the center multiple times. 

“My mindset was just to do the best that I could to help the team,” Volmert said. “I knew that I had to stay focused and put into the game what I had been doing in practice. I felt confident because I knew I could lean on my teammates.” 

We all knew what we had to do, we all knew we had to lock in to get the win. I’m just proud of us for sticking together [and] talking through everything. We’re always defensive-minded, so we know that defense leads to offense.” 

— junior guard Mari Miller

The Chargers came out of halftime strong, scoring two points right away. However, they fouled on Miller, who scored two points from her free throws. Not long after, Cor Jesu fouled again, and Porter also made both free throws. 

Later in the third quarter, Miller saw the opportunity to get a wide-open layup, and she took it successfully. Immediately after, she scored a two-pointer, as did Porter with a nice assist from Smith. Excitement grew when Smith, Jayda Porter and junior guard Elli Porter were all on the ground, with the latter two having been involved in a cluster with the Chargers under the net. 

The Bruins’ winning gap narrowed to only four points as Cor Jesu made a layup and a free throw. However, Miller was able to make a two-pointer and successfully blocked the Chargers when they tried to score at the third-quarter buzzer, bringing the score to 44-36.

“We all knew what we had to do, we all knew we had to lock in to get the win,” Miller said. “I’m just proud of us for sticking together [and] talking through everything. We’re always defensive-minded, so we know that defense leads to offense.” 

Only 40 seconds into the final quarter, Chievous shot a three-pointer but fouled shortly thereafter. With just under six minutes left, she scored another three points. A nice play from Miller to Jayda Porter to Elli Porter secured another three points for the Bruins with three minutes remaining. When Cor Jesu called a time-out towards the end of the fourth quarter, Jayda Porter held 24 of the team’s 57 total points, with Miller not too far behind at 12 points. As the game ended, the Chargers fouled twice, and Jayda Porter blocked their shot to close it out. 

The Bruins’ win of 60-51 landed them third place in the Final Four to end their season. Senior guard Lexi Butts, who was unable to play in Saturday’s game due to an ACL tear, accepted the third-place award after the game and enjoyed her final moments on the court.

With it being Volmert’s first time playing at state, she said she was “really grateful to have the opportunity to play with such a talented group” and is looking forward to next year. Nagel said she is proud of everything the girls have accomplished this season, especially with the injuries they faced.

“I’m very proud of this group for the way that we ended up, [because] I think it’s well known that we’ve had a couple [of] heartbreaking injuries over the past three weeks,” Nagel said. “The way these kids have had to reinvent [themselves] has truly been amazing and inspiring. I always say that they teach me more than I teach them, and this week is a great example of that, how you persevere and rise to the occasion for your teammates.” 

Did you watch the Lady Bruins place third in the state? Let us know in the comments below. 

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About the Contributor
McKenna Parker
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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