COLUMBIA— Coming off a close game earlier this season against arch rival Hickman, the Rock Bridge boys basketball team put on assertive performance Friday night.
But instead of claiming Columbia bragging rights over the Kewpies, the No. 4-ranked Bruins (25-2) claimed the Class 5 District 9 title will move forward into state sectionals after securing a 66-45 win in Wentzville.
“I told the team we have four games to get through, and we’ve gotten through our second win tonight,” Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon said in a telephone interview after the game.
Bruins’ coach Jim Scanlon said his team displayed consistent defense and balance on offense throughout the game.
Senior forward Jordan Dressler led the Bruins offensively with 19 points, but it was contributions by reserve players like Travis Ward, who chipped in with six assists, that made the difference.
Scanlon admitted Hickman (16-9) was a strong competitor and forced Rock Bridge to work for the win, but said his reliable bench players secured the district championship.
“I was really proud of our guys,” Scanlon said in a telephone interview after the game. “They played really well.”
Rock Bridge will face the winner of the Waynesville-Rolla game for Class 5, District 10 championship at 7 p.m. March 4 in Union.
Scanlon said his team will continue to focus on bringing a similiar defensive effort in preparation for next Wednesday’s sectional game.