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Rock Bridge defense makes big difference

Sunday, February 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:31 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rock Bridge and Helias had a difficult time shooting inside the 3-point arc Friday night.

Despite poor shooting from both teams, the Bruins defeated the Crusaders 38-36 in the final game of the regular season.

The Crusaders made 13 shots, but stayed in the game by making seven 3-pointers.

Rock Bridge (17-8) also relied heavily on outside shooting, connecting from 3-point range on five of its 12 field goals.

“It just seemed like offensively neither team could get much of a flow,” Helias coach Jerry Buescher said.

The slow pace produced a close finish when Bruins senior Rob Adams scored his only field goal on a layup with 26 seconds left in his last regular-season game.

“You know it’s kind of important to win the last time you step on this floor,” Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon said. “We made it interesting. We make them all interesting.”

Helias sophomore Adam Knollmeyer missed a 3-pointer from the baseline with three seconds left, sealing the win for the Bruins.

“Late in the game we had a lot of opportunities to score and we just couldn’t do it,” Buescher said. “They missed some free throws late, we got the rebound and didn’t score on any of them.”

The difference came at the free-throw line, where Rock Bridge shot 9-of-23 compared with 3-of-3 for the Crusaders. The Crusaders committed 14 fouls in the second half, allowing the Bruins to shoot 17 free throws.

“It was a typical Rock Bridge-Helias battle,” Scanlon said.

Junior guard Terrell Turner had a big game for the Bruins.

Turner had 15 points, including four 3-pointers. In the fourth quarter, Turner scored six of Rock Bridge’s nine points to hold off a Crusaders run.

The Bruins also relied heavily on the defense of sophomore John Stull.

Stull flirted with foul trouble all game, but stayed in and held Knollmeyer, the Crusaders’ leading scorer, to 11 points.

“We have to win with defense,” Scanlon said. “We’re still young and working together as a unit on offense has kind of been a struggle for us.”

The Bruins’ defense was extremely tough in the first half, holding Helias to 14 points.

Helias (15-10) scored five points in the first quarter and struggled when Knollmeyer went to the bench after a technical foul for hanging on the rim.

“When they double (Knollmeyer) somebody else has to step up,” Buescher. “In the first half, we didn’t have anybody else stepping up.”

The outside shooting of Jason Stonner, who tied for the team high with 11 points, Kyle Shimmens and Dane Hughes helped Helias offensively.

They hit one 3-pointer apiece in the fourth quarter, including Hughes’ shot with 50 seconds left to tie the game at 36.


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