The Rolla boys basketball team kicked off play in the Republic Tournament against Springdale on Thursday, Nov. 29. The Bulldogs overcame a horrid first quarter to pull out a 58-51 win to advance to the tournament semifinal on Friday night.
Rolla couldn't get their offense going in the opening quarter, as they scored just five points in the opening frame. Springdale, meanwhile, was firing on all cylinders, scoring 20 points led by a 12 point performance from Jajuan Boyd.
The Bulldogs instantly had a big hole to climb out of, which started in the second quarter. Alec Buhr went off for eight points in the quarter, while Benjamin Colench added five points. Rolla scored 21 points in the quarter and cut the deficit to 34-26 at the half.
Rolla completed the comeback in the third with another big quarter of offense and excellent defense. The Bulldogs held Springdale to just six points in the quarter, four of which came on free throws. Buhr added eight points in the third quarter, while Trey Brown knocked down a pair of threes and scored eight points of his own in the frame. Rolla scored 18 points in the frame to take a 44-40 lead going into the fourth.
The Bulldogs sealed their win with great free throw shooting in the fourth. Rolla went to the charity stripe 14 times in the quarter, converting on 10 of those attempts. Buhr closed out the game by making all eight off his free throw attempts, while adding another basket from the field for 10 points to finish off a 58-51 win.
"We had a tough time handling their quickness and physical play and we were down 20-5 after the first quarter, but the guys adjusted to it and played well after that," said head coach Mark Miller. "Springdale is a very good team and extremely athletic. Buhr had a huge game for us, obviously, but Colby Shivers and Trey Brown had great games off the bench. Total team effort once again with everyone playing their role, as we got contributions from all the guys."
Buhr led the team in scoring with 28 points in the win, while Brown added 10 points off the bench. Shivers chipped in with six points, Colench added five and Trey Quick scored four. RJ Alfred and Danny Foster each scored two points and Blaize Klossner added a free throw in his return to action.
Rolla will face off against the host, Republic, at 8:30 Friday night.