COLUMBIA - Rock Bridge junior guard Ricky Kreklow caught the ball and stood open behind the 3-point arc.
“I was wide open,” Kreklow said. “I lined up the shot, and it looked like it was right on line. I got the right arc on it, and it looked like it was going to go in, then all the sudden it soared right over the basket. That was bad.”
The Hickman student section chanted “airball” every time Kreklow touched the ball for the rest of the first quarter and part of the second quarter. Then, Kreklow found his rhythm and propelled the Bruins (15-2) to a 65-47 win over the Kewpies (7-12) Thursday at Hickman.
Kreklow scored all of his 11 points in a second quarter outburst in which he made all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers.
The Bruins finished the half with a 13-3 run, including a Kreklow field goal at the buzzer that quieted the Hickman student section.
“I just got in a rhythm,” Kreklow said. “Once the first one goes in, it gets easier. Soon, they just feel like lay-ups.”
After Kreklow dominated the second quarter, senior John Worley and junior Jordan Dressler paced the Bruins, contributing 15 and 19 points respectively.
“That’s how our team works,” Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon said. “One guy gets us going, then the rest of the team contributes.”
Junior guard Eric Franklin led the Kewpies with 12 points, but Kreklow and the Bruins opened the game up in the second quarter.
“We just got outplayed,” Hickman coach Kenny Ash said. “Ricky is a fun player to watch. I just wish I didn’t have to watch him from the opposing bench.”
Kreklow is listed as a guard on the Bruins roster but can play anyposition, from a forward to a point guard, which is his strength as a player. When Dressler gets in foul trouble, Kreklow sometimes guards the opposing team’s biggest player.
“We try to isolate him,” Scanlon said. “He’s 6-5. We try to get a good matchup, then they try to get their best matchup.”
The son of MU volleyball coaches Susan and Wayne Kreklow, Ricky grew up in a family revolving around sports. Wayne played for the Boston Celtics in the NBA before becoming a coach. Ricky said Wayne Kreklow always helped him with his basketball game.
“He wouldn’t let me take 3-pointers,” Kreklow said. “He always made me shoot from close. I get my shooting from my dad, because he was a shooter when he played.”
While Kreklow comes off the bench for the Bruins, he is a part of the team that contributes once the seniors come off the floor for a break.
“We have a lot of upperclassmen,” Kreklow said. “They get us off to a good start then we come in and contribute.”