Rock Bridge boys basketball has been beating expectations in the early part of this season.
The defending state champions were supposed to be in a rebuilding phase after graduating six seniors in May, all of whom now play collegiately. But so far, the Bruins haven’t missed a step, as they have jumped out to a 3-0 record with victories against Oak Grove, Holt and McCluer North.
They even have a chance to do something last year’s Rock Bridge team wasn’t able to do in Friday’s clash against Francis Howell in the championship of the Peoples Bank & Trust Invitational, hosted by Troy Buchanan High School. The Bruins took third place in the tournament last season after losing to McCluer in the semifinals, but a victory against the Vikings on Friday would give the team an early trophy that not even last year’s dominant lineup could capture.
Francis Howell will be Rock Bridge’s toughest test this season. The Vikings reached the state semifinals last year and have been even more overpowering than the Bruins throughout this week’s tournament, outscoring Hazelwood West and Troy Buchanan by a combined score of 147-91.
But coach Jim Scanlon’s Bruins have already proven they should never be counted out as they navigate this supposed transition season. Rock Bridge will face Francis Howell at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Troy Buchanan High School.