Jorgenson lifts Rock Bridge past Hickman in district final

Friday, February 24, 2012 | 11:22 p.m. CST; updated 12:19 a.m. CST, Saturday, February 25, 2012
Rock Bridge guard Nick Norton drives the ball to the hoop during the Class 5 District 9 boys basketball championship at Smith-Cotton High School on Friday. Norton had seven points in the 70-49 win over cross-town rival Hickman.

SEDALIA — The first time Rock Bridge played Hickman this year, Travis Jorgenson was playing with what he thought was a sprained left thumb. He didn't know the injury was much more than a sprain — he'd torn a ligament and chipped a bone.

Over a month later, Jorgenson sat at the end of the bench and watched the second cross-town game, recovering after having surgery to repair the injured thumb.

It was clear that when he stepped on the court to play in the boys basketball district finals against Hickman on Friday night, Jorgenson was ready to make up for lost time.

He opened the game with a 3-pointer and a layup. Then another 3-pointer made it 8 for him. Moments later, only four minutes into the game, Rock Bridge was up 13-0.

But that wasn't enough for Jorgenson. After spending much of the regular season facilitating the offense and passing the ball around, he was ready to take control of the game.

While the Kewpies struggled offensively in the first half, Jorgenson continued his scoring spree. He knocked down some step-back 3-pointers, a mid-range jumper here and there. He single-handedly outshot Hickman from 3-point range, hitting six of the Bruins' nine.

Scoring 22 points — his most since returning from his thumb injury — was enough to help Rock Bridge beat Hickman 70-49 for the Class 5 District 9 title.

"I think you saw a man that was focused," assistant coach Quentin Mitchell said. "I think he's playing very, very good basketball at the right time." 

Jorgenson's shot wasn't the only thing going for him. As he continued to draw defensive pressure during the second half, he threw a few no-look passes to senior center Austin Ray, who scored 12 points. 

"That's Travis,"  head coach Jim Scanlon said. "I just think he needs to be that type of player for us."

After the Bruins broke out to a first-half lead, the Kewpies never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm. Sophomore Chris Clark led Hickman with 12 points, but he was their only player to score in double figures.

"I think our inexperience showed a bit," Hickman head coach David Johnson said. "Travis came out shooting lights out, and our shots didn't fall."

The Bruins play next at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday against Rolla High School at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. The winner advances to the Class 5 state quarterfinal.

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