A loot at host Rolla High girls' basketball squad.

Luke Floyd knew he was getting into a rebuilding situation when he took the job as Rolla High School girls’ basketball head coach last spring.

And that’s exactly what it has been, as the Lady Bulldogs have been learning as they go through what is so far a winless campaign.

The Lady Bulldogs hope to continue their progress in the upcoming US Bank/Rolla High School Girls’ Holiday Invitational to conclude the 2014 portion of their schedule.

The US Bank/Rolla High School Girls’ Holiday Invitational Tournament will be held Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 29-31. The majority of the tournament will be played in the Rolla High main gym.

In first-round games on Monday at the RHS gym, defending tourney champion St. James meets Sedalia Smith-Cotton at 2 p.m. while Waynesville faces St. Clair at 3:30 p.m., Rolla plays North County at 5 p.m. and Newburg takes on Lindbergh at 6:30 p.m.

On Tuesday at the RHS gym, the St. James-Sedalia loser plays the Waynesville-St. Clair loser at 2 p.m. and the Rolla-North County loser plays the Newburg-Lindbergh loser at 3:30 p.m. in consolation action while the St. James-Sedalia winner meets the Waynesville-St. Clair winner at 5 p.m. and the Rolla-North County winner tangles with the Newburg-Lindbergh winner at 6:30 p.m. in semifinal play.

On Wednesday the seventh-place game is set for 9 a.m. at Missouri S&T’s Bullman Building while at the RHS gym the fifth-place game is slated for 9 a.m., the third-place game at noon and the championship game at 3 p.m.

Last year St. James got past Waynesville 61-43 in the championship game.
So far this season Rolla is 0-7 against a tough schedule, which has included three teams that have been state-ranked this season (Pacific, Columbia Hickman and Jefferson City Helias).

The Lady Bulldogs are allowing an average of 56.3 points per game. But it’s their offensive production that has been the biggest problem thus far. RHS is averaging just 22.6 points.

“We’re improving,” Floyd said. “Our team, the coaches and players, are there every day, so we don’t always see that improvement. But it’s encouraging for other people to see the improvement. We keep working on the little things.”

And the Lady Bulldogs haven’t had their entire team together at full strength yet due to illness and injury.

“I keep telling myself that it’s a blessing and a curse,” Floyd said. “We don’t have everyone here yet, so a lot of kids have gotten some varsity experience.”

Sabrina Morris, a 5-10 junior forward, was averaging 7.3 points and 5.7 rebounds before missing the last four games with an ankle injury. Rosanne Rafter, a 5-5 senior guard who has missed the last couple of games due to a concussion, averages 5.8 points and 5-7 junior forward Caroline Victor averages 5.6 points.

Other key players in the Rolla rotation includes 5-3 senior Amber Walters, 5-5 junior Meredith Sowers, 5-3 senior Megann Temple, 5-5 senior Megan Studdard and 5-9 junior Amanda Dillon.

In addition, 5-5 sophomore Addy Brow has missed most of the season with a back issue as has 5-7 senior Kalise Garner with a stress fracture in her foot. Both are expected to return at some point.

Floyd is glad Rolla is hosting its own holiday tourney.

“Not having to travel over the holiday break and still getting to play is really nice,” he said. “To get rewarded with games is very beneficial for the program.

“We’ve got some really good teams coming in. As a basketball fan it’s a great time to come in and watch and enjoy it.”