Senior Ellynn Nickens-Hill (#12) goes in for a layup in a game against Battle HS Dec. 10. The JV Lady Bruins won 43-35, bringing home their second win of the season.
The Lady Bruins’ basketball team fell to the Bolivar Liberators in a nail biter, 54-51, in what was the first of a four-game tournament at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.
We just weren’t executing well offensively,” head coach Jill Nagel said. “We weren’t hitting the shots we needed to hit, and Bolivar was doing everything they needed to. We did play a good team, so we pretty much needed to play perfect; but we didn’t play perfect down the stretch, and playing a good team who was taking good shots made it tough to come back.”
Despite the Bruins’ early efforts in the game, BHS quickly responded with a powerful 11-2 run in the first quarter, eventually granting the Liberators a lead they would possess for the entirety of the game.
“They went on a quick run because of their three-point shooters,” senior Bri Ellis said. “We just have to make sure we find shooters in transition and play solid defense.”
Although the Liberators maintained the lead for the rest of the game after the early run in the first quarter, RBHS continued to play with passion and determination.
“The team’s performance last night was very good,” sophomore Katey Klucking said. “The effort we gave was tremendous. We were on the ground for every loose ball, we encouraged one another and we sprinted. I felt like the effort we gave and the encouraging of our teammates was what kept us going.”
That determination eventually led RBHS to improve on what was already a minor deficit in the game. With 1:45 left in the fourth quarter, a 3 pointer by sophomore Payton McCallister cut the Liberator’s lead to 49-48, a great improvement from being eight points down at halftime.
[pullquote]“I felt like the effort we gave and the encouraging of our teammates was what kept us going.” — Katey Klucking[/pullquote]
The late surge allowed for a shot at overtime for RBHS. With 12.5 seconds left on the clock, the Lady Bruins had possession of the ball, but were unable to tie the game for a potential win in overtime. To the team, it was simply an unlucky loss, as focus has been turned toward winning the game today against the Stockton Tigers.
“Tonight, we need to focus on that intensity key and improving from last night,” Klucking said. “A big thing yesterday was that Bolivar played a 2-3 zone, which we had a hard time playing against. We weren’t used to the movement but we worked on that for today’s game. We now know the proper movements and the looks that we need to get to become successful.”