COLUMBIA, Mo. - The odds appeared to be stacked against the Jefferson City boys basketball team.
But despite being the lower seed and playing on the road without their leading scorer, the Jays found a way to get the job done.
Jefferson City senior Harold Robertson Jr. scored a game-high 25 points to lead four players in double figures as the third-seeded Jays knocked off No. 2 seed Rock Bridge 74-62 in a Class 5 District 9 semifinal game Tuesday night at Rock Bridge.
Jefferson City (15-11) took a 55-43 lead with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter after opening the period with an 11-1 run and the Jays didn't look back from there.
Rock Bridge was able to cut its deficit to seven with 52 seconds remaining, but Jefferson City went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute to hold off the Bruins, who are ranked seventh in Class 5.
Robertson tallied 19 of his points in the second half, while seniors Darion Jones and Jake White both chipped in with 13 to lead Jefferson City. Sophomore Rhylin Spence added 10 points - six in the fourth quarter - to help pace the Jays, who were 29-of-48 from the field and 12-of-19 from the charity stripe.
Ryan Kreklow scored 18 points and Jackson Dubinski added 17 for Rock Bridge, which was 23-of-60 from the field and 8-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Jefferson City led 16-12 after the first quarter, but trailed 31-29 at halftime. The Jays came out of the gate strong in the third quarter, but the Bruins went on a 7-0 run to take a 42-39 lead with with 1:36 left in the frame.
It didn't matter.
Jefferson City outscored Rock Bridge 16-3 during the next 2:30 to take a 55-43 lead with 4:45 to play. The Jays maintained at least a seven-point lead the rest of the way to earn their second straight win.
Jefferson City will look to carry some momentum into Friday, as the Jays take on Hickman, the No. 1 seed and third-ranked team in the state, at 7 p.m.
The Kewpies (23-2) held on to claim a 60-59 win against fourth-seeded Camdenton in overtime Tuesday night.