The Rolla boys basketball team hosted Helias on Thursday, Jan. 10. The Bulldogs led through three quarters, but went cold in the fourth in a 53-48 loss.
The Bulldogs got behind early, as Ben Cooper led Helias to a 15-point opening quarter. Cooper scored nine points, nearly matching Rolla's first quarter output. Alec Buhr did the heavy-lifting for Rolla early with six points, while Trey Quick added four in the first, but the Bulldogs finished the quarter in a 15-10 hole.
The Rolla defense then stepped up big time in the second, holding the Crusaders to just six points. The Bulldogs were able to take the lead in the second thanks to threes from Trey Brown and Muluken Pritchett. Brown scored five points for Rolla in a 15-point quarter, as the Bulldogs carried a 25-21 lead into the half.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair, with Rolla doing a lot of their damage from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs went 6-7 from the free throw line in the quarter. Blaize Klossner added a three to lead Rolla with six points in the quarter, while Buhr added five and Brown chipped in with four. Helias managed to keep pace, but Rolla went into the fourth with a 42-37 lead.
That's when the Bulldogs went cold. Rolla scored just five points in the fourth, while Helias got hot. The Crusaders went off for 16 points in the fourth and Rolla couldn't find the offense to keep pace in a 53-48 loss.
"Helias closed the game out well by hitting shots and we went cold, forced some shots and had some turnovers" said head coach Mark Miller. "It's a solid Helias team, so hats off to them. We'll regroup and be prepared for the St. James Tournament next week."
Buhr led Rolla with 13 points in the loss. Klossner and Brown each added nine, Pritchett scored six, Quick and Colby Shivers scored four, while RJ Alfred chipped in with three.
Helias won the JV game, as well, beating the JV Bulldogs 67-40. Benjamin Colench led the Rolla JV with seven points, while Matt Ballard and Clayton Casey each scored six points.
Next up for Rolla is the St. James Tournament. The Bulldogs will open the tournament against Salem on Tuesday, Jan. 15.