The Rock Bridge boys basketball team continued their winning ways Thursday night, beating Smith-Cotton 77-30.
The Bruins are 13-1, and they have not lost since Dec. 6 to McClure North. The AP poll released this week lists Rock Bridge as the No. 2 team in Class 5. The players and coaches, however, are not getting too excited about the hype just yet.
“The rankings don’t win us any games. We have to get better because the games will just get tougher,” said head coach Jim Scanlon. “Sedalia is young, and we are still experiencing defensive flaws and foolish fouls.”
It was tough to see any flaws Thursday night, though. The Bruins jumped out to a 15-0 lead before the Tigers finally scored with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter.
“Coach tells us we have to keep working if we want to keep the ranking,” senior Logan Gray said, who had 15 first-half points.
His backcourt mate, junior Mike Petrik, also had 15 points. Petrik is quick to downplay the team’s success, and emphasized that the Bruins always have a target on their back even when they are not ranked.
“We are taking it one game at a time,” Petrik said. “Every game from here on out is tough, and the Troy loss last year made us hungry.” Rock Bridge won a district title last season. However, Troy Buchanan High School defeated the Bruins in early March, squashing their playoff hopes.
“We have our expectations. We want to win districts and then keep going,” said Skylar Tolson, a sophomore who came off the bench to score 12 against the Tigers. The Bruins have never won a state title, and although that may be a goal, the team is focusing on the present for now.
“We have some big games coming up, and we need to get used to playing in a tense atmosphere,” Petrik said.
“We will just keep trying to be successful, and keep stressing defense and rebounding,” Scanlon said.
The Bruins’ next game versus Springfield Kickapoo has been canceled because of weather in southern Missouri. Their next game will be on Jan. 23 at Duchesne in St. Charles.