COLUMBIA — With the No. 20 emblazoned upon the back of her green and white practice jersey, Rock Bridge senior point guard Andrea Seabaugh coasted up the court, confidently whipping the ball behind her back from her right hand to her left hand.
Seabaugh, who has been a point guard her entire life, said the best part of her game is being able to bring the ball up the floor and run the offense.
When opponents bring pressure on defense, Seabaugh remains unfazed.
“I’ve kind of always said she can get herself out of any sticky situation she gets herself into,” Bruins coach Jill Nagel said.
Nagel added that Seabaugh has very smooth moves that she is confident in, including a great crossover.
When Rock Bridge faces Waynesville on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the University of Missouri-Rolla in the state quarterfinals, Seabaugh will be looked upon to handle the basketball.
“For the most part, I’ve been doing it (handling the ball) for a while,” Seabaugh said. “I’m pretty calm.”
“I think she’s the epitome of our team,” Nagel said. “Everybody is a threat and everybody can handle it (the ball).”
Seabaugh isn’t just a one-dimensional player, however. In Rock Bridge’s three playoff games, she has averaged six points per contest, including some timely 3’s in the district championship win over Hickman. Seabaugh also prides herself on being a good passer and pesky defender.
“I have pretty good balance,” Seabaugh said. I’m not a standout player. I don’t need to score points to have an impact on the team. My job is to pass to the open person. I’m pretty well-rounded.”
Seabaugh attributes her success on the basketball court as well as her love for the game from playing with the boys in the neighborhood at a young age. Seabaugh recalled one instance where she played in a one-on-one basketball tournament at her cousin’s birthday party and beat all of the boys. Seabaugh chuckled, remembering that all the boys were teased for being beaten by a girl.
When Seabaugh started playing organized basketball for the Shooting Stars in fourth grade, she wasn’t too excited about the prospect that she would be playing with all girls. She was worried because she didn’t think that the girls were that good since she had been playing with boys all of her life.
Soon, Seabaugh came to enjoy playing with girls, and she achieved high levels of success doing so. The Shooting Stars won the end of the year tournament from fourth grade until seventh grade and then managed to go undefeated in her eighth grade season. She then came to Rock Bridge, where she has been on varsity for all four years, starting the past two.
This experience has helped not only Seabaugh, but has benefited the team in important circumstances as well. “She plays above her years,” Nagel said. “She’s played in a lot of big games and she knows how to handle those situations.”
When Seabaugh steps onto the court on Saturday afternoon, she knows she will have to step it up and have a big game if the Bruins are to advance.
“It’s our last chance (for the seniors),” Seabaugh said. “There’s a lot more pressure. We want to go out with a bang. This is the farthest we have ever gone. We want to make it happen.”
Rock Bridge, by advancing past sectionals, has already surpassed what any other team before them at Rock Bridge has done. “The goal at the beginning of the season was to win districts and then set new goals,” Seabaugh said. “Now that we are in the postseason, we have to take it step-by-step.”
The Bruins are on a seven-game winning streak and playing their best basketball of the season.
“The kids are feeling good,” Nagel said. “I think we’re peaking at the right time.”