Bouncing back from tough games is a sign of maturity in an athlete.
Claire Schaeperkoetter, a freshman on the Rock Bridge girls’ basketball team, continued her maturation Saturday, coming up big when her team needed her the most.
Schaeperkoetter sparked the Bruins in a 39-34 overtime win against Liberty with tenacious defense and eight of its 10 points in overtime.
Her memorable performance came after a game she probably would rather forget. On Thursday, Schaeperkoetter missed key free throws that could have sealed a win against Boonville.
She also struggled to keep her composure in the first half of Saturday’s game.
Kevin Giese, the Bruins’ coach, was not surprised that Schaeperkoetter came through in the end.
“I put my money on her that she’s going to hit more than she’s going to miss,” he said.
The victory was the Bruins’ sixth in a row. The Bruins overcame 17 turnovers in the first half and generally sloppy play the entire game.
Giese blamed his team’s lack of composure partly on overlooking the Blue Jays. Rock Bridge (14-2, 1-0) had won three straight against ranked teams and has a game with Hickman looming on Wednesday.
“We’ve got a young team and maybe they just can’t help (looking ahead),” Giese said. “They asked me in the locker room now who their matchups are against Hickman.
“I said, ‘We won’t worry about that until Monday.’”
Even with all the turnovers, Rock Bridge managed to go into halftime with a 13-10 lead. Liberty, riding the sharp shooting of Chelsea Carlisle, traded leads with the Bruins in the second half and had possession with 44 seconds left and the game tied.
But the Blue Jays could not convert and were unable to come up with enough big plays in overtime.
The game featured two technical fouls against Liberty. A Liberty fan walked to the sideline and took pictures of the two referees who called them.
Carlisle led all scorers with 13. The Bruins’ Ashley Dressler, Ashley Stanfill and Schaeperkoetter each scored eight.