Rock Bridge girls basketball eases into Final Four

Saturday, March 15, 2014 | 9:35 p.m. CDT

BOLIVAR – They didn't even have a full roster. 

The Rock Bridge girls basketball team (25-3) was missing one of its main rotation players in a 73-36 state quarterfinal victory over Parkview (19-11).

Volleyball is the priority for senior Kayla Cheadle, who will be playing at the University of Kansas while her twin sister, Chayla Cheadle, will be playing basketball at Kansas.

Kaylawas at a volleyball tournament in Colorado with her club team, the Kansas City Invasion, which is qualifying for nationals.

"Obviously, she wanted to be here," her sister said. "But she's playing volleyball in college and that's always been her No. 1."

The Bruins will be at full strength in Thursday's semifinal at Mizzou Arena against St. Joseph Academy, which beat Fort Zumwalt West, 87-76, Saturday.

Until then, Rock Bridge will focus on replicating its play from the second half of Saturday's quarterfinal victory. 

Coach Jill Nagel was not totally pleased with her team's effort in the first half. She said they were getting good looks but just weren't knocking the shots down.

But the Bruins were 3-11 from the free throw line in the first half, which Nagel said they need to fine tune that for the next round.  

At halftime, Nagel told her team to relax and have fun.

The second half, however, Rock Bridge found its groove and got a lot of easy looks inside.

Junior Sophie Cunningham led the Bruins in scoring with 17 points.

Rock Bridge is now within two victories of a third-straight state championship. 

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