COLUMBIA —As expected, the Rock Bridge boys’ basketball team entered its first district game as a dominant state title contender and soundly affirmed that status.
The Bruins easily handled Holt High School on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Class 5 District 9 tournament with a decisive 71-44 win at Wentzville.
Rock Bridge (24-2) excelled on defensive pressure and communication throughout the game.
In the first quarter, senior Jordan Dressler immediately fell into foul trouble and was benched for nearly 10 minutes.
For Rock Bridge, playing without its 6-foot-8 star forward is nothing new. The team has struggled offensively in previous games with Dressler’s absence, but it maintained control against Holt (12-16).
Bruins’ coach Jim Scanlon said the Bruins bench players were key to the team’s success. Senior forward Briton Rudd stepped up in Dressler’s absence, ending with 10 points.
Junior guard Ricky Kreklow paced Rock Bridge with 11 points and seven assists.
Coming off this win Rock Bridge will have little time to celebrate. The Bruins will prepare to face rival Hickman, who advanced with a 54-51 win over Troy Buchanan, in the district championship at 7 p.m. Friday night in Wentzville. It will be their third meeting this season.
“We’ll prepare for them like any opponent,” said Scanlon on the upcoming game.