The gym was packed at the start of the Rock Bridge girls’ basketball team’s final home game. Unfortunately for the team, most of the crowd was there to see Chase Patton, Missouri’s quarterback prospect, crowned king of this year’s Courtwarming dance at halftime.
By game’s end only a few groups of parents and students could be seen in the stands. Those who stayed saw a disappointing performance by the Bruins.
Helias defeated Rock Bridge 58-36 on Thursday in a game that was too fast paced for the Bruins. The Crusaders scored in transition and dominated Rock Bridge under the basket, outrebounding the Bruins 38-22.
Helias also worked the ball inside and scored numerous times from the post. Center Lyndsay Schlup scored 18 and led Helias with eight rebounds. Helias has two 6-foot players in Schlup and Teresa Backes. The undersized Bruins lineup struggled to defend the taller girls.
The loss dropped Rock Bridge to 5-18.
Seniors say goodbye
Seniors Ashley Guy and Melissa White played their last game in their home gym. Guy scored eight to lead Rock Bridge. White scored six and pulled down seven rebounds.
“It’s never fun to lose, period,” Guy said. “Let alone when it’s our last game here. But we’re a young team and we’re going to make a lot of young mistakes.”
The Bruins struggled on offense, turning the ball over and missing open shots. The Crusaders’ combination of zones and traps caused Bruins guards Rachel Drennan and Natashia Guidry to commit 16 turnovers.
“That was not a pretty game at all,” Bruins coach Bob Plourde said. “I’m happy with running but it’s hard to win when you miss layups ... It was an ugly game.”
Young Bruins prepare for districts
As it has all season, Rock Bridge suffered from a lack of leadership on the court.
“They have six seniors. We have two,” Plourde said. “There has been a void in leadership since last year just by virtue of the numbers.”
Rock Bridge will need to mature quickly if it hopes to advance in the Class 5 District 10 Tournament, which starts Monday. The Bruins could play Hickman, one of the best teams in the state.
“As a senior I have to try and lead by example,” Guy said. “I want to teach the other girls what the Rock Bridge program is all about. We all just have to go out there and try as hard as we can.”