Rock Bridge’s used accurate 3-point shooting to overcome a larger Oakville team Saturday in the first game of the 2004 MFA Oil Break Time Shootout.
The Bruins gained the early lead on a Demond Thorpe 3-pointer about a minute in and held onto it for another 31 minutes to defeat the Tigers 57-53 at Hearnes Center.
“I’m happy for them, they get a win out of this,” Bruins coach Jim Scanlon said. “They are kind of playing not to lose at times and I think we loosened up tonight and cut it loose.”
The Bruins didn’t hesitate from the 3-point line, making 7-of-13. Marco Brown made 3-of-3 3-pointers, and Thorpe made both of his. Thorpe and Brown led Rock Bridge with 12 points each.
“We’ve got good shooters, definitely, we just haven’t been knocking them down,” senior forward Rob Adams said. “I’ve always known we could do that and so does coach.”
Adams added 11 points, six rebounds, and three steals in the victory.
Rock Bridge couldn’t secure the win until the final buzzer.
“They just hung right with us, that’s how it was the whole game,” Adams said.
Scanlon praised the efforts of Oakville and its first-year coach Kenny Ash, who played for him at Rock Bridge.
“We couldn’t put them away,” Scanlon said. “Kenny did a nice job with them. We’d get up eight or 10 and they’d cut it to five or six. We just couldn’t hold them, because they are pretty good.”
Oakville’s Drew Martin, a 6-foot-9, center, grabbed six rebounds and scored 15 points. Rock Bridge had trouble containing him because of his size.
“We can’t grind anybody, because we just don’t have any size like they do,” Scanlon said.
Rock Bridge’s John Stull, a 6-3 sophomore, who Scanlon said is constantly improving and working hard at practice, highlighted the final minute. A steal by Rock Bridge left Stull wide open for a one-handed dunk.
The Bruins (7-3) hope to carry the momentum from this win into their game against Fulton on Tuesday.
The 11th annual MFA Oil Break Time Shootout concludes today with five games starting at 12:30 p.m. The Hickman Kewpies play the Poplar Bluff Mules at 4 p.m.