Rock Bridge girls basketball continues winning streak

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | 9:51 p.m. CST; updated 10:17 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Rock Bridge head coach Jill Nagel talks to players right before the end of the game against Waynesville at the Gale Bullman Building at the Missouri University of Science and Technology on Wednesday night in Rolla.

ROLLA — Another game, another blowout for the Rock Bridge girls basketball team.

This time, the victim was Waynesville, which fell to the Bruins 64-18 Wednesday night in a Class 5, state sectional game in Rolla. 

Rock Bridge (23-3) used a defense that had eight steals, five blocks and caused numerous turnovers.

“We knew they were small, so we had to get a little bit lower this time,” said Bruins freshman Cierra Porter, who finished with nine points.

The Bruins' halfcourt trap defense was so effective that it often intimidated the Tigers (12-18).

“When we bring the energy and have our hands up, we look intimidating,” Bruins senior Carmen Boessen said. “I know, I go against them in practice every day, and whenever my teammates have their hands up, it’s a sticky situation.”

The Bruins, who improved their winning streak to 15 games, clearly had the edge on offense too. So much so that many of the starters weren’t needed much in the second half and were relaxed and smiling on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.

But despite what seemed to be an incredibly strong start, the Bruins weren’t satisfied with their 34-7 halftime lead.

“We didn’t have the energy we usually have in the first half,” Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel said.

“It didn’t feel like we usually do in the first half. Kind of an odd game I thought,” Boessen said. “It was a good tool to learn from.”

Lindsey Cunningham, who never stepped onto the floor in the fourth quarter, had a game-high 15 points.

Rock Bridge advances to play Ozark (25-4) on Saturday in the state quarterfinals in Springfield. Rock Bridge beat Ozark 50-45 in overtime in December in one of the Bruins' closest games this season.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” Nagel said. “We’re playing in their backyard, and it’s basically a home game for them, but we’re used to that. We’re used to going on the road.”

The Rock Bridge players seem confident, but they are being careful not to make bold predictions.

“I think our possibilities are endless, I’ll say that,” Boessen said. “I think we have the potential to do great things.”

“If we just play the way we’ve been playing, I think we have good chances,” Porter said.

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