Rock Bridge upends Lady Jays

COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge doesn’t lose in the postseason.

The Bruins have won two straight Class 5 titles and are going for a three-peat. Fourth-seeded Jefferson City came up short against the top-seeded powerhouse, falling 54-24 in the semifinals of the Class 5 District 9 Tournament on Thursday night.

“They’re definitely the favorite to win three in a row,” Jefferson City head coach Dan Ridgeway said. “They have six (NCAA) Division I athletes, five Division I basketball players. They’re a load.”

Rock Bridge led 16-2 after one quarter, 32-4 at halftime and 47-13 after three quarters.

“We were pretty stagnant on offense first half and they shot lights out,” Ridgeway said.

The Bruins, ranked No. 11 in the country by USA Today, held just a 22-20 edge in the second half.

“At halftime we dedicated ourselves to being more aggressive and changed the offense a little bit,” Ridgeway said. “I’m happy that we came out in the second half and we competed. It’s the last game of the year and you want to compete every possession. I’m proud of what we did in the second half. … There’s no quit in these girls.”

Megan Foster paced the Lady Jays with nine points. Kezia Martin, Jefferson City’s lone senior, added seven points. Nicole Martin had six.

“Everybody else is back,” Ridgeway said. “With a lot of work in the offseason we’ll continue to get better and close that gap. … The girls we have coming back have to dedicate themselves to getting better in the offseason and keep working. Our girls did a great job this year of overcoming some situations, with the mid-season coaching change and a seven-game losing streak.

“I’m proud of them. We won four of our last five games.”

Jefferson City ends the season at 12-15.

Rock Bridge (22-3) will face Hickman (24-1) for the district title at 5 p.m. Saturday. Hickman, the No. 2 seed, topped Camdenton 66-60 in Thursday’s second semifinal.

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