Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

West Pushes Unbeaten Rock Bridge to Final Minute before Falling 58- 53

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

West Pushes Unbeaten Rock Bridge to Final Minute before Falling 58- 53

Article excerpt

The St. Charles West Warriors had the undefeated Bruins of Columbia Rock Bridge High right where they wanted them. Or so they thought.

With just over a minute to play, the Bruins had the ball and a two-point lead.

"They'd turned the ball over a couple of times and we still had enough time that we didn't have to foul (Brennan Scanlon or Josh Kroenke)," West coach Terry Hollander said. "Our plan was to turn up the pressure on defense and hopefully get a steal. If that didn't happen, we'd try to foul one of their other guys with about 30 seconds to play." The plan made sense. Unfortunately. . . . As Rock Bridge attempted to in-bound the ball after a timeout, the Bruins' Scanlon and West's Ryan Kiernan got tangled up. Scanlon fell and Kiernan was called for the foul. Scanlon made one of two, upping the Rock Bridge lead to 56-53. "It was a foul - no complaint there - but it was a foul that threw off our whole strategy," Hollander said. "Now, instead of being down two, we're down three and for some reason, our guys seemed a little hesitant." After working the clock to 30 seconds and calling a timeout, the Warriors failed to get the shot they wanted - a 3-pointer. So, with time running out, West's Kirk Hollander drove to the basket, looking to draw a foul. He missed the shot, no foul was called and Rock Bridge came down with the rebound. The Bruins' Andrew Peters made two free throws with 3.9 seconds to play, capping his team's 58-53 victory in the Class 4A sectionals at Washington High. "You have to give Rock Bridge a lot of credit," coach Hollander said. "They knew what we were trying to do and they did an outstanding job of defensing us. They wouldn't let us get the 3-point shot and they also did a good job of keeping us away from the basket. "Their defense at the end of the game was outstanding." Wednesday marked the fourth consecutive sectional meeting between the two teams. West won in 1994 and 1995, going on to finish third and first, respectively, in Class 4A those years. Rock Bridge (28-0) advances to take on Lebanon (22-7) in the quarterfinals Saturday at the State Fair Exhibition Center in Sedalia. "I don't know if they're a team of destiny or a team that's due to get beat," Hollander said of the Bruins. "They should be able to get past the next game, but I don't know that they're big enough or strong enough to compete with teams like DeSmet, CBC and Riverview Gardens. But if they get that far, they'll be playing in Columbia, so anything's possible. "We really thought we had a chance to win tonight and if we could've done that, we could've made it to the final four again. With this team, as young as it is, that would've been a real accomplishment. "As it was, we had a real successful season. And tonight, we gave Rock Bridge all it could handle." Hollander continued: "If you look at the 32 minutes played tonight, I thought we had the better of the play for 20 minutes. …

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