Boys Basketball Week 8 (7-5)
Boys Basketball Week 8 (7-5)
RBHS v. East Kansas City High School, 76-52
RBHS v. Branson High School, 68-54
RBHS v. Parkview High School, 58-55
Games for the Bruins’ culminated at the end of the week in the Smith-Cotton Tournament, held at Smith-Cotton High School. Beginning the tournament on Thursday was the boys’ opening game against East Kansas City, where RBHS took a 76-52 win against the Bears. The toughest thing for the RBHS boys, however, was the timing of the games.
“We knew it would be hard playing three nights in a row away from home,” junior starter Jackson Dubinski said, “especially all games being late. We just really wanted to win this tournament. That was our goal coming in and I’m glad we did.”
The boys faced off against the Branson High School Pirates at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11. After a tight start, where the Bruins were only in the lead by one point (9-8) at the end of the first quarter, they were able to play a strong second quarter and pull the score up to 27-18 at the half.
After playing the first quarter, “we just made some adjustments defensively and focused on stopping them first,” Dubinski said, rather “than getting out and running on offense to push the tempo.”
However, although the Bruins were able to make a 7-0 run in the third quarter, the Pirates responded by toughening their offense. Both teams ended the quarter with a close score of 38-34, with the Bruins taking the slight lead. Halfway through the last quarter, however, the RBHS boys were able to solidify their lead, and the score stood at 46-35 with a little more than six minutes left in play. The Pirates were able to close the gap to a seven point difference with a minute and 30 seconds left, but weren’t able to follow through, and the RBHS boys won the game 68-54.
The game against Branson “gave us a little momentum and confidence that we could just execute our strategy and build a lead,” Dubinksi said. “Branson hung around with us because they shot it so well.”
Less than 24 hours later, the RBHS boys geared up again and prepared to play the Parkview High School Vikings, with the championship title on the chopping block. The Bruins were able to end the first quarter with a lead of 11-6 and continued to lead through the second quarter into halftime.
“We knew they tried to slow the game down and were a very good team,” Dubinski said. “They were fundamentally sound. We wanted to try and speed the game up because we knew it would be tough to beat them in a game that was played at their pace.”
However, the Vikings soon began tightening their hold and showcasing their skills, as they were able to wrap up the third quarter with a score of 38-33.
Parkview “played a good zone against us and forced us into some bad turnovers and shots,” Dubinksi said. “That kind of kept them close but we made some big plays in the fourth to help finish it off.”
After a strong start in the fourth quarter where RBHS was able to lead by as much as 47-35, the Vikings went neck and neck with the Bruins up to the last minute of the game, where the score was 58-55.
“We just tried to focus on getting stops and taking care of the ball,” Dubinski said. “We knew if we controlled the ball they wouldn’t have enough time to come back. But it came down to defense and we did a great job not letting them get a shot in the final seconds.”
By Daphne Yu
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