The Rolla boys basketball team (22-3, 8-1 OC) wrapped up their regular season slate with a trip to Waynesville on Thursday, Feb. 22. The Bulldogs used a big fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on a 69-54 win.
Rolla came out of the gate with excellent defense, holding Waynesville to seven points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs took a quarter to get into the flow of things offensively, but still managed to get four points from Coby Martin and a three from Blaize Klossner to end the first with an 11-9 lead.
The Bulldog offense then came back in a big way in the second. Josh Pritchett went off for 11 points himself in the quarter to lead Rolla. Alec Buhr added five points in a 21 point quarter for the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, they couldn't stretch out their lead, as Waynesville hung around with 18 points of their own. Despite the solid quarter from Waynesville, the Bulldogs went into the half with a 32-25 lead.
Rolla kept up their strong shooting from the second quarter in the second half. Martin buried a trio of threes for the Bulldogs in the third, while Buhr also connected from long range. Waynesville, however, was able to keep pace. Hot shooting from Carson Cavalier allowed the Tigers to win the quarter 18-16, but Rolla was still able to hold onto a 48-43 lead going into the fourth.
The Bulldogs had a fantastic fourth quarter on both sides of the ball to close out their win. Waynesville managed just 11 points in the quarter, nine of which came off of threes from Cavalier. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, went off for another 21 points in the final frame. Buhr led the way with seven points in the quarter, which included a 5-6 performance at the free throw line. Nick Janke added another six points in the paint to help close out a 69-54 win.
"Guys played well tonight against a very good Waynesville team. It was physical, Blaize got a bad cut above his eye that required stitches and Alec went hard to the floor on his knee but both guys are gonna be fine with a little rest," said head coach Mark Miller after the game. "Good to shoot the ball the way we're used to shooting it again. I think our guys are ready to get Districts started."
Rolla had a pair of double-doubles in the victory, as Pritchett led Rolla in points with 17 to go along with 12 rebounds. Janke led the team in the rebounding department with 13, while scoring 12 points for his double double. Pritchett also added five assists, while Janke had four assists to fill out their impressive stat lines. Buhr and Martin each added 15 points of their own with Martin chipping in with five assists, as well.
The win snapped a two game losing streak for the Bulldogs and puts them back in the win column before opening District play next week. As the top seed in the District, Rolla has a first round bye, so they will play the winner of Salem and Owensville on Tuesday, Feb. 27.