Rock Bridge girls basketball prepares for district finals

Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 11:34 p.m. CST
Rock Bridge girls basketball coach Jill Nagel blows a whistle to signify the end of a drill during practice on Thursday. The girls varsity team will play in a district championship game against Troy Buchanan High School on Friday.

COLUMBIA — If there is one word to describe the Rock Bridge girls basketball team, it's consistent.

This is the Bruins' sixth consecutive appearance in the championship of their district tournament.

Next game

Rock Bridge vs. Troy

When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Troy

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“This is the chance for our third straight championship title,” said Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel. “We haven’t backed away from any challenges this year. Districts was our goal and it took us 26 games to get to this point.”

Over the course of more than 60 practices, the Bruins' mentality has stayed the same. While the competition changed on a weekly basis, the focus did not.

Rock Bridge set goals for the season during a preseason discussion, and decided playing in the district final was their aim. After winning the Class 5 state championship in 2008, the Bruins, No. 6 in the state rankings, are vying to do it again this season.

The last practice before Friday's 6 p.m. Class 5 District 9 final against second-seed host Troy, ran no differently than any other practice this season for top-seeded Rock Bridge. There were no extra drills, no last minute pep talks, just solid Bruins basketball.

“Practice is routine the day before a game,” Nagel said. “We don’t change anything, we don’t learn anything new. We just focus on our basketball.”

The Bruins spent practice fine-tuning their offense, moving on defense and sinking free throws.

“We focused a little on what Troy likes to do without getting away from us," Nagel said. "We scouted them well and translated it well, but when it comes down to it we take care of business.”

The Bruins’ challenge will be to limit Troy’s leading scorer Maggie Flynn, a MU basketball recruit. Last year, Rock Bridge beat Troy 45-21 in the district finals.

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