COLUMBIA— Moberly had “the Mob” on its side, but that didn’t mean anything to the Rock Bridge boys basketball team.
The Moberly student section, which calls itself the Mob, showed up early to chant at the Rock Bridge players during their warm-ups. It did whatever they could do to turn the Columbia College gym into a hostile environment for the Bruins. It took 30 seconds and two three-pointers for Rock Bridge to quiet the crowd on its way to a 90-34 victory.
Rock Bridge head coach Jim Scanlon said he was never worried about the way his team would react. He had all four of his seniors in the starting lineup. They’ve all seen crowds before.
“I think it (the Moberly student section) inspired us a little bit,” Scanlon said. “I told them (the Rock Bridge seniors), 'You should respond to the crowd. They want to play, so we’ll go play.' I thought the guys responded fine.”
Senior forward Logan Parks was one of the players Scanlon spoke about. He said he was getting more motivated as the noise inside the gym increased.
“The Mob wasn’t scaring no one,” Parks said. “Honestly, they really weren’t. I love when people talk and try to cheer the other team. So when we get up in the score, I love hearing them get quiet.”
Parks said he didn’t hear it get really quiet until after his alley-oop dunk off an inbound pass from fellow senior Rick Kreklow. It's a play that he said he loves to see, whether or not he is getting the pass.
“I can get it (the pass), Charlie (senior forward Charlie Henderson) can get it. It’s just a momentum shifter.”
Henderson said that he thinks the crowd played into the tempo that the Bruins wanted to play at. At halftime, Kreklow had more points, 19, than Moberly’s entire team, 17. Kreklow finished with a game-high 27 points.
It was Kreklow’s first game since he had surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his back in July, but he said he was more concerned about how the team as a whole played.
“I was excited to really get back out here and playing again,” Kreklow said. “It just happened to be tonight that it was a good game for me, but it was a good game for the team. Everybody shot well, and I think our conditioning really helped the team. Anyone can hang around for two quarters, but when that second half rolls around, its that really well-conditioned team that really starts pulling away.”
Rock Bridge (1-0) will play Monday in the Troy Peoples Bank Tournament. The top-seeded Bruins tip off against 8-seed Timberland at 4 p.m at the Troy gymnasium.