The Rolla boys basketball team (17-1, 3-0 OC) hosted Lebanon for an Ozark Conference matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Rolla used two big quarters to cruise to an 85-49 win.
The Bulldogs came out firing in the first quarter. Alec Buhr buried three shots from long range in the opening frame on his way to a team-high 11 points in the first. Josh Pritchett knocked down a three of his own, scoring seven points in the quarter, as Rolla was out to a quick 24-10 lead.
Lebanon bounced back a bit in the second thanks to an 11 point quarter from Jordan Lewis, but Rolla wouldn't let them close the gap too much. J. Pritchett hit two more threes in the quarter, leading Rolla with eight points, while Coby Martin knocked down a three of his own. That shooting from long range helped lead the Bulldogs to a 37-26 lead at the half.
Rolla put the game away with a monster third quarter. Buhr was a machine with 11 points, while Muluken Prichett was a sharpshooter from long range with three three's in the quarter. J. Pritchett added two more threes of his own, scoring eight points in a 34-point quarter for the Bulldogs. Rolla went into the fourth with a 71-40 lead, putting the turbo clock into effect.
The Bulldogs closed things out with 14 points in the fourth quarter. J. Pritchett led the way with four points, while Buhr and Aaron Cunningham each scored three to finish off an 85-49 win.
Buhr led all scorers with 28 points and J. Pritchett was right behind him with 27. Nick Janke added 11 points with M. Pritchett adding another nine. Head coach Mark Miller has really liked what he's seen out of the younger Pritchett since he was moved into the starting lineup for the injured Blaize Klossner.
"It was an exceptional game by Muluken Pritchett," said coach Miller of the game. "That was one of the shining lights, seeing him gain more and more confidence shooting the ball from the perimeter, active on defense and strong on the boards.
"It's definitely not something we want to have a guy like Blaize Klossner injured," added Miller. "But it's certainly strengthening our team having a guy like Muluken really maturing in his basketball game."
Rolla currently doesn't have a timeline for Klossner's return to the lineup. They want to make sure he's totally ready to go so they don't risk re-injury.
The Bulldogs remain on their home court for their next matchup when they host West Plains on Friday, Feb. 2. Coach Miller expects to see a very physical contest.
"They'll be physical. They play about nine or 10 guys, they've got a bench that they'll roll out there and they'll be just as physical as the starting bunch," said the Rolla head coach. "We're more concerned about doing our thing. We feel like as long as we give the good effort, play hard and play smart, good things should happen for us."