COLUMBIA — Jim Scanlon had seen enough.
Midway through the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Rock Bridge with his team leading Springfield Central 91-33, Scanlon called a timeout. The instructions he gave his team were simple: Stop scoring.
Much to the chagrin of the Bruins’ sparse-but-restless student section, a group which clamored for 100 points with chants of “one-hundred” and implored their classmates on the court to shoot, his players heeded his orders.
Rock Bridge’s added three points to its total following the timeout for a 94-39 victory, with all three points coming from the free throw stripe as the game was played out on a running clock.
“It’s no fun to be on the other end of that,” Scanlon said. “If you win a game you win with class, I’m not interested in scoring 115 points. I’m just interested in us getting better. We got as much done as we wanted to.”
Eleven Rock Bridge players scored in the first half as the Bruins took a 56-17 lead into the break. The mammoth advantage allowed Scanlon to rest starters Jackson Dubinsky and Nick Norton, both of whom wore their warmup gear into the locker room at the half and never took it off.
“It’d be stupid to go out and sprain an ankle,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon noted Rock Bridge’s end-of-the-bench guys play tough in practice and sometimes beat the starters, so they were very deserving of the extra playing time.
“They’re good kids, they work hard and they’re pretty good players,” Scanlon said. “They just have guys ahead of them, and anytime I get a chance to play them, I’ll let them play.”
One such guy was junior guard Zach Carroll.
The Bruin with the highest GPA in school had the highest point total on the court, scoring a career-high 26 points behind an impressive display of sharp-shooting from beyond the arc. Carroll’s previous high was 24, but that performance came on the junior varsity level. His previous high this season on varsity was eight.
Carroll had a chance with an open look from the corner to add to his total after Scanlon’s fourth quarter timeout, but he passed up the opportunity.
“It crossed my mind,” a smiling Carroll said. “Coach said not to shoot so I respected that, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t want to shoot it.”
Asked after the game what he told his team at the conclusion of the drubbing, Springfield Central coach Armando Johnson said he and his young team knew what they were up against Tuesday night. Johnson said he wanted his team, which features seven sophomores, to face a team of Rock Bridge’s caliber that gets up and down the court at such a blistering pace.
“It was a good learning experience,” Johnson said. “This is where the show takes place.”