COLUMBIA — At first it seemed Hickman couldn't lose. Then Rock Bridge proved anything is possible in this rivalry game.
With less than 10 seconds to play, Bruins senior forward Logan Parks was fouled hard while going up for a dunk, resulting in a controversial intentional foul call, which not only gave the Bruins two free throws but possession of the ball.
To add to the chaos, Parks, who had been recovering from a right shoulder injury and was wearing a brace, was too hurt to take the foul shots after the play.
“I wanted to (shoot) at first because I wanted to look tough,” Parks said. “Once the adrenaline wore down, I started to feel the pain.”
Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon called on senior guard Ricky Kreklow to shoot the free throws. After missing the first, he nailed the second, extending the Bruins' lead to three.
“At that point I wanted to shoot those free throws,” Kreklow said. “I wanted to end it.”
Junior guard Matt Kelly sealed the win with another free throw. After scoring nine fourth-quarter points to keep Hickman in the game, senior guard Lyle Harris flew down the court to score a layup.
“Lyle was tremendous,” Kewpies coach John Burns said. “He did everything we asked him to do.”
Out of timeouts, time expired for the host Kewpies and they lost their 15th straight game to Rock Bridge, 72-70 on Thursday night.
Hickman’s guards were incredible to start the game, orchestrating a 15-0 run to end the first quarter. Junior Marcus Whitt scored 12 points in that quarter, scoring on nearly every shot he took.
“I’ve got to give them credit,” Scanlon said. “They just hit shot after shot.”
Harris and Whitt slowed down in the second quarter, with only two points between them. When those two slowed down, sophomore Jordan Stevens missed his first two threes and couldn’t energize the team.
It was the Rock Bridge bench that tore into Hickman’s first quarter 26-11 lead, finding a 7-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter.
“We got away from the storm before the half with our bench,” Scanlon said. “I think our bench won the game.”
Freshman Travis Jorgenson was one of the Bruin’s leaders off the bench with seven points. With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, Jorgenson stole the ball, flew up the court with a behind the back dribble and passed the ball off to teammate Will Echelmeier, senior, who stood wide open in the corner.
Echelmeier drained the 3-pointer to pull Rock Bridge within three points to end the third quarter.
By the fourth quarter, Kreklow was ready to shine. He remained poised and hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Bruins the lead for good.
“I mean it's fun,” Kreklow said. “It makes it even sweeter when you can’t even hear yourself think.”
By 6:30 p.m., the gym became maximum capacity, and Hickman fans warmed up their vocals with a full crowd for the junior varsity teams. But despite ear-splitting noise from a packed crowd, Rock Bridge held their lead and won the game on foul shots.
"Our guys weathered the storm,” Scanlon said. “A lot of teams would’ve wilted.”