After a slow start to the senior night game, the Bruin boys basketball team made sure to not end their season with a loss as they defeated the Helias Crusaders 55-54 in a nail-biting contest.
The day after the girls team dominated the Battle Spartans, senior players’ parents gathered together in gym to watch their sons play the last regular season game at RBHS. Senior Zach Carroll said the team struggled to get going in the first half but found the motivation later in the game to take down the Crusaders.
“Last night’s game was kind of a mix,” Carroll said. “We did not play well in the first half, and you could see that on the score board. We played amazing in the second half however. That is some of the best basketball we have played all season.”
By the end of the first quarter, the Bruins were already facing an 11-point deficit. Helias shot five three-pointers in the first quarter and only went on to increase their lead by the end of the first half leading RBHS 27-15. However, the Bruins found their form in the second half cutting a 12-point deficit leading their opponents 38-37 heading into the last eight minutes of the competition.
The game went on to become tighter as the score was tied up at 48 with two minuted remaining in the contest. Senior Arris Pardalos said team showed a lot of character in closing stages of the game.
“We knew when it was tied at 48 that we needed to get a stop,” Pardalos said, “and the charge that got us the possession at the end was huge.”
The Crusaders went on to make the most out of their next two possessions as they had a 53-51 advantage with only one minute remaining. In a pressure situation, senior Jackson Dubinski made both his free-throws after being fouled tying the game up at 53. With thirty seconds left, the Bruins forced a turnover, and junior Ryan Kreklow passed the ball to junior Eric Kuse which put the Bruins on top. RBHS prevailed in the end after the Crusader’s point guard failed to make both of his free-throws giving the Bruins a one-point win. Pardalos said he is determined to play his best in every game left.
“This being my last year, I just want to come out on top every game,” Pardalos said. “I’m motivated by the fact that any of these games could be my last, and I want to do anything to win.”
With their upcoming district matchup with Jefferson City just around the corner, Carroll said the team is focused and determined to play at their best level.
“Our mindset is simple. Do whatever it takes to get a district title,” Carroll said. “This win was huge. It gave us some momentum to go into districts, and it’s always good to win on senior night.”
By Harsh Singh
The Bruins, who host the Class 5 District 9 tournament, take on the Jeff City Jays next Tuesday, March 3 at home with a potential matchup with rival Hickman next Friday.