COLUMBIA — On Monday night, the Rock Bridge boys basketball team looked liked the undefeated No. 1-ranked team in the state.
Unlike a rough game against Raytown South on Friday, the Bruins (21-0) dominated over visiting Smith-Cotton on Monday night, winning 76-37.
“We rushed shots on offense,” admitted coach Jim Scanlon on his team’s performance against Raytown. “Tonight we were under control.”
Rock Bridge senior forward Jordan Dressler started the game strong, scoring the Bruins’ first five points. But he remained quiet until scoring another five in the final minutes of the second quarter. Junior guard Ricky Kreklow added two three-pointers to give Rock Bridge a 23-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Bruins maintained control throughout the second quarter, scoring nine consecutive points against Smith-Cotton (3-11). Constant defensive pressure created numerous Tigers turnovers, allowing only 10 points, and Rock Bridge entered the second half with a 44-18 advantage.
After halftime, Tigers guard Trevor Davis attempted to close the gap, scoring 11 points in the second half. But the Bruins maintained their fast-paced intensity. Senior forward Briton Rudd scored eight consecutive points for the Bruins in the third quarter to secure a 66-28 lead. Rudd finished with 12 points.
Scanlon said his team’s offense improved its communication to inside players.
“Our defense led to offense,” Dressler said. “We looked to enter the ball more, we have been posting up pretty hard inside.”
Dressler sat the last 12 minutes of regulation, ending with 16 points.
Rock Bridge will face strong competitor Springfield Central (21-2) Tuesday night at Rock Bridge.
“They’ll be a challenge for us,” Scanlon said. “It’ll be a heck of a game.”