The Rock Bridge girls’ basketball players know they’ve improved this season. The numbers show it.
As of Monday night, the Bruins have surpassed last season’s record. After their 57-47 home victory over Mexico, the Bruins improved to 18-2. And they still have four games left in the regular season. Last season Rock Bridge finished 17-8.
Sophomore Claire Schaeperkoetter won’t let that fact go to her head, however. She says her team only focuses on “one game at a time.”
“Every game we try to bring high energy,” Schaperkoetter said. “Hopefully we keep on.”
If Monday’s victory was any indication, energy will not be a problem for Rock Bridge. The Bruins finished the game with seven 3-point field goals— five in the first half. Every player on the court scored and three players finished in double digits.
When asked what she’s instilling in her team this year that might account for their improved season, coach Jill Nager had one word: “Defense.”
“We have a strong focus on defense,” Shaeperkoetter said. “And that can usually help our offense.”
The Bruins proved this was true when they came back from a 18-17 deficit in the first quarter to hold the Bulldogs to just 16 points in the second and third quarters combined while scoring 30 in the same stretch..
“We gave up a lot of points in the first quarter,” Nagle said. “We don’t like to see that.”
The Bulldogs (14-6) attempted a rally in the fourth. They fouled Rock Bridge seven times in the final quarter and though they scored an additional 13 points, they fell short.
“I’m not really sure what happened,” Mexico coach Ed Costly said. “We just played a better ball team.”
Freshman Katherine Harry led the Bruins with 19 points. Schaeperkoetter and senior Natashia Guidry each contributed 12 points .
Although the girls saved their smiles until the game was over, their synchronized passes and high energy plays brought the Rock Bridge fans to their feet many times throughout the night.
“They’re just out there having fun,” Nagel said. “That’s all you can hope.”