Early on, Jefferson City was able to go blow for blow with Rock Bridge.
But the Bruins were there for rebounds and loose balls, and got to the rim to pull away for a 68-47 victory against the Jays on Tuesday at Fleming Fieldhouse.
"We told the kids that we had to defend and we had to keep the ball out of the paint off the bounce," Jefferson City coach Tony Phillips said.
After falling behind 7-2 in the first 2:30 of the game, Sterling DeSha scored a second-chance basket and Keith Driver hit from the corner to tie it at 7 less than a minute later.
DeSha got on a roll late in the quarter, adding another basket off an offensive rebound and a 3 from the wing to tie it at 12.
Rock Bridge led 16-12 at the end of the quarter, but an Aaron Stallings layup and DeSha jumper knotted it at 16 a minute into the second quarter.
DeSha finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds on Senior Night.
"He does a great job, he does everything we ask," Phillips said. "He shows up every day to work."
The Bruins began to take control midway through the second quarter. Ben Linnemeyer came off the bench for three 3s in the second quarter, with the third coming off a Xavier Sykes kickout to the corner for a 33-20 lead at the 2:04 mark.
"He makes them go," Phillips said of Sykes.
Rock Bridge led 33-23 at halftime and 40-25 three minutes into the third quarter after Kanyon Hummel scored off an offensive rebound.
Hummel came just shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 46-31 lead, Rock Bridge scored six consecutive points in the paint and the margin reached 21.
Sykes scored five points in the final 1:30 of the game to reach 22 for the game. Hudson Dercher added 14 points and six rebounds for the Bruins (6-2), who improve to 2-0 in the Central Missouri Activities Conference with the win.
Jays senior DaShawn Webster drained a pair of 3s from the right wing late to finish with nine points.
Jefferson City honored DeSha, Webster, Stallings, Driver, Koby Sands, Quinn Walker, Nathan Hudnell and Joseph Okpodighe prior to the game.
"They play hard," Phillips said. "There's never a lack of effort on our guys' part."
Jefferson City (4-9) falls to 1-2 in conference play with the loss.
The Jays will host Helias on Tuesday. The freshman game will start at 4:30 p.m., the JV will tip off around 6 p.m. and the varsity will begin around 7:30 p.m.
Rock Bridge defeated Jefferson City 42-40 in the JV game. Tripp Maassen scored 12 points and Steven Samuels added 10 points.