For nearly a half the Rolla High School boys’ basketball team did what it needed to do to pull a victory over the Westbury Christian Wildcats from Houston, Texas.


For nearly a half the Rolla High School boys’ basketball team did what it needed to do to pull a victory over the Westbury Christian Wildcats from Houston, Texas.
The Bulldogs couldn’t continue it for a full game, however.
Westbury outscored Rolla 39-22 over the final two periods and went on to a 68-40 victory in the first round of the 2008 US Bank/Rolla High School Holiday Invitational Monday at the RHS gym.
In other first-round games on Monday, it was Waynesville over St. Joseph Benton 58-43, Festus clipped Salem 39-37 and Rogers, Ark. got past Washington 43-26.
In games today Salem faces Benton at 4 p.m. and Rolla takes on Washington at 5:30 p.m. in consolation play while Festus meets Waynesville at 7 p.m. and Westbury plays Rogers at 8:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
On Wednesday the seventh-place game is scheduled for noon, the fifth-place game for 1:30 p.m., the third-place game for 3 p.m. and the championship game for 4:30 p.m.
Westbury 68, Rolla 40
Kevin Perry, a 6-6 senior, canned a layup with :42 left and 6-9 junior Nick Shepherd scored on a put-back with :04 left to give Westbury a 20-13 lead entering the second period.
Rolla, now 2-4,  would never lead in the final three periods, as the Bulldogs simply could not mount enough offense.
The Bulldogs scored but five points in the second period and went into halftime down 29-18.
It was much of the same in the second half, as Rolla was outscored 18-13 in the third period and 21-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We were trying to shorten the game,” said RHS head coach Mark Miller. “We were trying to slow it down. The problem for us came then they started to knock it down from the perimeter. Plus they’re big inside.
“We did a pretty good job with our game plan. But once they get the lead on you and you’ve got to go man (to man defense)... And they’re so athletic.”
No Bulldog scored in double figures. Senior guard Andrew Chism had nine points and 6-4 junior forward Brendon Dowdy grabbed 10 rebounds.
Perry had 16 points and 6-0 sophomore Anthony Collins added 15 points for Westbury, now 15-4.
Waynesville 58, Benton 43
The Waynesville Tigers overcame some sloppy play in the first half to knock off the St. Joseph Benton Cardinals.
The lead changed hands five times over the first quarter. Following a Benton turnover 6-3 junior forward Tim Williams drained a three-point field goal at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 11-10 edge entering the second period.
Waynesville, now 6-1, never trailed the rest of the game.
Holding a three-point edge midway through the second quarter, the Tigers outscored Benton 12-5 the rest of the half. And a driving layup by 6-2 senior forward Donald Perry with :06 left upped Waynesville’s advantage to 29-19 at intermission.
Benton could not make a run over the final two periods. A 11-5 run over the first six minutes of the third quarter gave Waynesville a 16-point lead. The Tigers took a 44-29 edge into the fourth period. Waynesville’s lead remained double digits throughout the final quarter.
B.J. Ray, a 6-3 senior, and Perry led Waynesville’s balanced attack with 10 points each. Austin Parrott, a 6-0 junior tallied 11 points for Benton, now 1-6.
Festus 39, Salem 37
Salem, now 3-4, had a chance at the game-winner but had a three-point attempt blocked at the buzzer, allowing Festus to hold on.
C.J. Smith, a 6-1 senior, hit a driving layup to open the fourth period and give Salem a 32-30 edge. After Festus tied it up Smith drained a three-pointer at the 3:16 mark to give the Salem Tigers a three-point edge.
It was still a three-point Salem lead with less than a minute left, but the Salem Tigers missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt with :51 left. Festus took advantage of that miss with a driving layup by 6-3 junior forward Cody Roberts.
With :29 left Salem was again put on the free throw line and again it missed the front end of a one-and-one. Festus got the rebound, sprinted up court and 6-3 junior forward Ryan Yuengel drove in for a layup and was fouled with :16 remaining. He added the free throw to give Festus a 39-37 edge.
Salem then went for the game-winner, as Smith tried a three-pointer. The attempt was blocked at the buzzer, no foul was called and the game was over.
Smith poured in 21 points to pace Salem while Roberts led Festus, now 3-4, with 19.
Rogers 43, Washington 26.
The defensive pressure by unbeaten Rogers Mountaineers proved too much for the Washington Blue Jays.
Washington, now 3-4, was limited to just two points in the first period and could score but seven points in each of the third and fourth quarters.
Rogers, now 11-0, didn’t burn the nets either, taking a 7-2 lead after the first period and heading into halftime up 18-12. It was 31-19 entering the fourth period.
Aaron Hawley, a 6-7 senior, led Rogers with 13 points. Aaron Spurgeon, a 6-0 junior, led Washington with 11 points.