Rock Bridge looks to win its fifth title in six years

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BOLIVAR – After a surprising finish to last season, the Rock Bridge lady bruins basketball team is looking to make sure it learn from its mistakes.

After winning four straight state championships with both Sophie and Lindsay Cunningham as well as Bri and Cierra Porter on the roster at some point, the Lady Bruins had a shockingly early exit last year. Kickapoo ended up winning the state championship after the Bruins walked away with the title from the 2011-2012 season up until the 2014-2015 season.

“We were all kind of disappointed last year,” Rock Bridge Junior Guard Katey Klucking said.

But players believe the team’s early exit last year has helped it to prepare for the challenges on the court this year.

“Since we lost in districts last year, no one really knew what we were capable of,” Klucking said.

Now, after winning their way back into the final four against the Branson Lady Pirates on Saturday, players expressed their excitement for the following game and that they are ready for what's next.

“We wanted this so bad, especially from the loss of districts last year. It just shows we came together mentally and physically to just be able to get here today and say we did it,” Rock Bridge junior guard Addie Logsdon said.

Head Coach Jill Nagel said she is excited for the team to get back to the final four but also for the season to continue.

“That’s what I’m excited about is that I get to spend one more week with [the players],” Nagel said.

Rock Bridge Senior Guard and Mizzou commit Elle Brown said the win gives her a chance to enjoy the little time she has left with her fellow teammates.

“I honestly don’t want to leave [my teammates]. If we could have another week of practice and another week, I’d be happy with that but I’m just really proud of everything they’ve done this year,” said Brown.

Alongside Brown is fellow senior Madison Treece, who committed to play basketball for Duke University in the fall. Together, they hope to lead Rock Bridge to its fifth title in six years.

“Exciting, it’s really exciting. I cannot wait until we get there,” said Brown.

Rock Bridge will play its final four game at Mizzou Arena at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.