ROLLA — Sophomore guard Amaya Williams made a 3-pointer from the left wing. A couple of minutes later, senior guard Claire Schaeperkoetter scored from behind the arc. Williams followed with another 3-pointer before senior guard Andrea Seabaugh connected on two long-distance shots before the end of the first quarter. By the time the quarter ended, the Rock Bridge girls basketball team (23-6) had hit five 3-pointers, en route to a 22-4 lead.
“We were on fire,” Seabaugh said. The Bruins finished the game with eight 3-pointers.
When the final buzzer sounded, Rock Bridge earned itself a place in the state semifinals, defeating Waynesville 51-28 in their quarterfinal matchup Saturday at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
The inside-outside combination of Katherine Harry down low and Seabaugh and Williams on the perimeter proved too much for the Tigers (20-6).
Harry finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, five on the offensive end. However, her effect on the game extended beyond the stat book.
“Having an inside presence makes teams drop inside,” Harry said. “It gives the guards open threes, and they were hitting.”
Seabaugh scored 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Williams added three 3-pointers, finishing with a game-high 13 points.
“She’s a big time player,” Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel said of Williams. “She makes everybody around her better.”
This is the second straight game where Rock Bridge started on a 9-0 run.
Nagel said she hopes the Bruins keep jumping out to fast starts because it lets the other team know that it’s going to be a tough game. Harry added that getting off to early leads is a big confidence booster because it helps knowing that the other team can’t come back.
Nagel says her team is continuing to reap the benefits of their difficult schedule, which gives them the ability to blow out their opponents. This is the second straight double-digit victory for the Bruins in the playoffs, the first being a 56-39 victory over Fort Zumwalt West in the sectional round.
Rock Bridge will play their semifinal game at 6:10 p.m. on Friday at Mizzou Arena. They will face Saint Joseph’s Academy (25-4), which defeated Hazelwood East 67-63 on Saturday afternoon.
“We know each game gets more important,” Seabaugh said. “We know what’s ahead of us.”
Nagel said her team would not be satisfied with just being in the final four.
They want to do something more.