The boys’ basketball team competed for the district title March 4 against Blue Springs in their postseason campaign for the 2017 season. After 48 minutes of competition, RBHS blew out Blue Springs 81-46 and claimed the district championship.
Although much was at stake for the Bruins, senior guard Justin Hajicek explained that the team kept their cool throughout the game.
“Once we got past that first game against Blue Springs South, our mindset for the championship was just to go out relaxed and just play hard,” Hajicek said.
From the tipoff, RBHS started the game off strong. By the end of the first quarter, the Bruins led Blue Springs 14-6, with senior forward Eysan Wiley leading RBHS with eight points.
“The game went really well,” Wiley said. “We came out strong and finished out strong. We played a complete game. I think that’s our best game as a whole.”
The second half was no different story as RBHS continued playing with aggression and a determined spirit. Throughout this time, the Bruins’ defense kept Blue Springs to only four points in the second; by halftime, RBHS had an immense 28-12 lead against Blue Springs, and a blowout was in sight.
“We maintained a pretty steady lead throughout the game,” Hajicek said. “It all started from our defense, though. We got a lot of our offense off of transition and we were able to control some of their better players.”
Up to the final seconds of the game, RBHS continued to score and defend with success. At the final buzzer, students, coaches and players gathered on the court to take celebratory photos. For Wiley, the championship was extremely satisfying.
“I feel really good about winning a district championship,” Wiley said. “It’s a huge confidence booster that helps us going into Wednesday.”
The Bruins now hope to continue their postseason success on March 8, when they will compete against Willard for the sectional title in Sedalia. Even with only four days to rest and practice, Hajicek remains confident in RBHS’s ability to shine on the court when it will matter the most.
“We definitely feel good going into sectionals after winning the district championship,” Hajicek said. “Willard is solid, but if we can maintain that same level of focus as we did against Blue Springs, then I’m confident in our ability to be successful on Wednesday.”
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