COLUMBIA — Mike Petrik, Rock Bridge’s senior point guard, leads another fastbreak down the court. He sees an opening in the paint, but another teammate stands behind the 3-point arc. Petrik fakes a pass to his teammate, enough to get the defender to move so that Petrik can lay it off the glass for two points.
“Almost every pass from Mike is a no-look,” teammate Jordan Dressler said. “You have to be ready for it and you never know when he’s going to hit you with a pass.”
“I like to throw in some no-look stuff,” Petrik said with a laugh. “The key to being a point guard is to be solid. I try to be as solid as possible. No turnovers. Turnovers are a big stat that I try to keep down. My guys do a good job of getting open, so it’s pretty easy once I get past my man.”
Petrik admits he has weaknesses too but declines to identify them. He doesn’t want to give any advantage to Hickman (7-11), which Rock Bridge (14-2) will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hickman gymnasium.
Hickman has five seniors, but is relying on several underclassmen. Freshman guard Marcus Whitt and sophomore guard Lyle Harris are seeing lots of playing time. Harris led all scorers with 17 points when the Bruins beat the Kewpies 55-48 on Dec. 13 at Rock Bridge.
“We have a lot of youth playing,” Hickman coach Kenny Ash said.
Petrik continued to make plays Tuesday in the Bruins’ 67-27 win against Duchesne. On one, he spotted Dressler under the basket. Petrik knew if he missed a wide-open teammate, his parents would remind him of it. Petrik looked away then threw a firm pass to Dressler, who made the layup.
“Almost every pass from Mike is a no-look,” Dressler said. “You have to be ready for it and you never know when he’s going to hit you with a pass.”
Petrik says his parents always expect more out of him and push him to do better.
“My family is pretty tough on me,” Petrik said. “They’re hard to impress, put it that way. They’re always pushing me to strive to do better. It makes me a more competitive person. Along with (that), it helps me from getting a big head. But they’re always there to support me.”
Petrik tries his best to support his teammates on and off the court and often makes his fellow Bruins laugh with his antics..
“He’s a happy guy all the time,” Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon said. “He’s one of the most liked kids in school. He keeps everyone loose and comforts everyone else all the time”.
Dressler said Petrik keeps the team laughing with his humor and sense of style. .
“He comes up with the funniest things of anyone I’ve ever met in my life,” Dressler said. “He wears these really tight shirts and moccasins to school.”
— Missourian reporter Dan Santaromita contributed to this report