Despite the brisk weather, more people than usual piled into the the Rock Bridge gym Thursday night to see the Bruins girls’ basketball team beat Helias 48-34.
A mass of stomping feet created a roar from the bleachers as the Bruins made two important turnovers to clinch the game.
With six minutes left, freshman Katherine Harry stole a Helias pass and scored the first of 18 Rock Bridge fourth-quarter points. Sophomore Claire Schaeperkoetter forced another Helias turnover seconds later, bringing the crowd to its feet and widening the gap against the Crusaders. Helias fouled Rock Bridge nine times in an attempt to gain possession, but only scored three points in the final quarter.
Senior Cameo Holly led the Bruins with 17 points including three 3-pointers in the first half. Harry followed with 12 points. Shaeperkoetter and Junior Ashley Dressler added nine each.
With the win, Rock Bridge finished the regular season 22-2, but as coach Jill Nagel pointed out, the Bruins won’t bring their record with them to Camdenton next week for the Class 5 District 10 Tournament.
“It was a great season,” Nagel said. “But I told the girls in the locker room (after the game) that the slate is now clear. We’re back to zero-zero.”
Nagel said that the successful regular season would help her team’s chances in the tournament.
“We worked really hard to get where we are,” Nagel said. “We can use that.”
The Bruins improved after finishing 17-8 last season. Nagel says this can be attributed to her team staying disciplined and building on its defense each game. She said the team “gets better each game they play.”
Senior Natashia Guidry said the team’s improvement has a lot to do with the new coach.
“Our coach demands perfection,” Guidry said. “Nothing less.”
The final game honored the three seniors on the team, Amanda Grayson, Natashia Guidry, and Cameo Holly. Nagel said she was pleased with the result because she wanted to the send the seniors out with a win.
“I always say I hope the girls learn more from me about the game of life, because they’ll have that forever,” Nagel said. “But they can apply principles they learn from basketball to that too.”
Guidry said she wishes the future Bruins more successful seasons.
“I just hope they stay positive,” she said.
Rock Bridge begins district play Thursday at 7:30 against the winner of Tuesday’s game between Hickman and Smith-Cotton.