COLUMBIA — Travis Jorgenson survived by watching DVDs of “The Office.” Karon Hayes resorted to answering random questions that he asked his friends to send him on Facebook.
In a roundabout way, the Rock Bridge boys basketball team's bouts with cabin fever this week helped cure one of its bad habits.
Rock Bridge started sluggishly in its past two games — falling behind 23-10 to Branson and 10-8 to Hickman — a game Rock Bridge eventually won by 21 points.
With two postponed games and just one practice in the past six days, the Bruins couldn’t wait to play against Lincoln Prep on Saturday. In an 85-50 victory, Rock Bridge (15-4) hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and took a 22-11 lead.
Catch you later, cabin fever. So long, slow starts.
“You could definitely tell your legs weren’t quite there at the beginning, so you had to come out with more intensity than usual,” said Jorgenson, who led the Bruins with 24 points. “A good start was really important and we didn’t have a big crowd today, so we knew we had to generate that spark ourselves.”
Hayes had hoped the team would practice Thursday, but when that was called off, he worked out at the Activity and Recreation Center with teammates Matt Kelly and Robert Cheadle.
On Friday, Rock Bridge’s opponent, Raytown South, called to say it would not make the drive from outside Kansas City because it was still too cold. The Bruins had a chance to practice for the first time all week, but the players had still looked forward to the game.
“We know a few guys on their team, and they are pretty good,” Jorgenson said. “That was a letdown because it would have been a big game.”
Lincoln Prep (13-7) posed another test for Rock Bridge. Lincoln Prep's game against Hickman was canceled after one quarter Friday night because of a leak in the gymnasium roof, so Lincoln Prep wanted to get out of first gear as well, but it could not match Rock Bridge’s eagerness.
“I feel like we haven’t had a game in three weeks,” Hayes said. “It was a long time coming getting back on the court. Playing again felt good. (This week) was really boring.”
Hayes scored 14 points, many of which came on passes from Jorgenson. The point guard also scored 15 points in the first half, knocking down two 3-pointers in the first quarter and another in the second giving Rock Bridge a 32-18 lead.
“I think he shouldn’t shoot a lot, but it’s cool,” Hayes joked. “He came out real good and hit a lot of shots that we needed.”
Rock Bridge’s shooting cooled down after its initial spurt, and Lincoln Prep pulled within six points. Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon called a timeout and told his players to make smarter decisions on offense and more of an effort to get back on defense. The Bruins took a 38-26 halftime lead and made seven more 3-pointers in the second half. They made 13 for the game.
“I didn’t know how we’d play because we had one practice all week,” Scanlon said. “We just needed to get a game in.”
Scanlon said the team would try to make up an earlier postponed game against Jefferson City this Thursday. It most likely will not make up the Raytown South game, though.