Starter sidelined, but Bruins prevail

Sunday, December 31, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:42 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rock Bridge’s five starters have led the Rock Bridge girls basketball team to five straight victories. But in Saturday’s game against St. Teresa’s Academy, The Bruins were forced to change their lineup.

Junior Claire Schaeperkoetter, who scored 12 against St. Teresa’s last year, was out with a stress fracture in her right foot, but the Bruins (7-2) overcame the injury and won easily, 56-39.

The 5-foot-9 guard averages eight points and three assists a game, but that’s not all she does for her team.

“She’s real big on voice and getting everybody into it,” Bruins sophomore Katherine Harry said.

Although she was unable to play Saturday, nothing could keep Schaeperkoetter from motivating her team from the sidelines.

“You got to want it,” she yelled to the Bruins, who looked like they knew they could beat the Stars (4-7) without much effort.

“The first game back is always a bit tough to get your timing back,” Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel said.

Nagel said the adjustment was even harder with the new lineup.

“I think they did a good job of stepping up when Claire wasn’t there,” said Nagel, though she wasn’t overly excited about the team’s effort or performance afterwards.

“It was a win,” she said in a voice that didn’t sound proud.

Harry stepped up and took over when her team got too sloppy or didn’t run the offense. She called for the ball in the post, and when she got it, she put it in the basket, scoring 25 points. Senior forward Ashley Dressler added 11 from inside.

“I thought our post did what we needed to do; that was dominate the paint,” Nagel said.

Harry and Dressler combined for 36 points, nearly outscoring the Stars’ entire lineup, which was held to single digits in every quarter but the fourth.

The Bruins offense didn’t look smooth until the fourth. They were held to eight points in the second quarter and nine in the third.

“We just can’t slow down in the first (half),” Harry said. “We got to be intense the whole game.”

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