The Hickman boys basketball team lost to Glendale 80-63 in Saturday's semifinal of the Springfield-Glendale Winter Classic.
The loss, however, advanced them to Saturday night's third-place game against Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (Atlanta) where the Kewpies lost 56-55.
Against Glendale, Hickman (7-8) was unable to overcome a massive free-throw shooting deficit. While Hickman only attempted 17 free throws, Glendale went 39 of 48 from the line, to score nearly half of its points.
Hickman assistant coach Marcus James described many of the fouls against the Kewpies as touch fouls, but didn't question their legitimacy. "We told the kids to keep playing," James said.
Marcus Whitt (20 points) and Jordan Stevens (12 points) were Hickman's double-digit scorers.
"We played hard but didn't play well," James said.
In their third-place game against Mount Vernon, Hickman led for most of the game until the beginning of the fourth quarter. That's when Mount Vernon made a run that led to an exciting back-and-forth fourth quarter.
In the end, Mount Vernon hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 15 seconds left to make it 56-55.
On Hickman's final play, Stevens drove into the lane but had his shot blocked. However, the Mount Vernon player who ended up with the ball traveled. The referees put 0.5 seconds back on the clock, but Hickman's attempt to tip the ball into the basket was unsuccessful.
Stevens led Hickman with 17 points followed by Ernest Dorema's 15 points and Whitt's 14 points.
The Kewpies won their first-round game 71-61 against Carthage High School on Friday night.