COLUMBIA – The Hickman boys basketball team won its final home game of the regular season on Thursday night, beating Jefferson City 54-33.
Junior Jerald Hickem led the Kewpies, finishing with 23 points and scoring 12 in the first quarter.
“I just felt like it was my night tonight,” Hickem said.
The Kewpies took control in the first quarter and fed off the loud home crowd to jump out to a 34-19 lead at the half.
“He (Hickem) got us off to a fast start offensively and that separated us early,” coach Ken Ash said.
Hickem shared the spotlight with senior captain Eric Franklin, who led the Kewpies in the second half with 10 points, finishing with 18 in the game, all while trying to hold back coughs in the huddle and on the court.
Franklin has been battling bronchitis, but he wouldn’t let that slow him down.
“It’s senior night, it’s my last time playing at home, I gotta come out and put on a show,” he said.
Franklin’s performance came as no surprise to Ash.
“Eric’s just a battler, he’s not gonna ever complain, he’s gonna go out there and give it his all,” Ash said.
Franklin’s one of many players on the Hickman squad that has been battling illness lately. But, as the season draws to a close and the district tournament approaches, Ash said his players are finally getting healthy again.
Ash was happy about that, saying his players have to trade in rest for practice before district play begins.
“We still got a lot of things to work on,” he said.
Before the Kewpies turn their attention to districts, they have to travel to Jefferson City on Wednesday for a rematch with the Jays to finish off their season.
“We’re gonna go down to Jeff City, put on a show again and hopefully come out with a win,” Franklin said.