COLUMBIA — Emily Miller is a shooter.
In the Hickman girls basketball team's 57-56 overtime victory against Moberly on Saturday in the Norm Stewart Classic at Columbia College, Miller, a freshman forward, scored 28 points. Kewpies coach Tonya Mirts knows what Miller is capable of, and she built her game plan around her.
“Coach assigned me to be the shooter on the team, and I’m just embracing that role,” Miller said.
For a while, it seemed like Miller would not miss a shot. She knocked down six jumpers in a row between the second and third quarters.
Because Mirts has so much trust in her abilities as a scorer, Miller said it makes her job on the court easier and much more relaxed.
“It helps my confidence a lot because I’m just a freshman, and sometimes I don’t know if I should take that shot,” Miller said.
However, with less than 30 seconds to play in overtime, it was senior Kimberly Lake who hit the winning basket.
Lake spent a decent amount of time on the bench in foul trouble. But she was on the court at the end of the game and found herself open at the top of the key. With Hickman trailing 56-55, Lake made the basket to get the section of Hickman fans at the game cheering.
Mirts said it was quite a game to be in this early in the season, especially after Hickman’s poor showing against the Spartans last year.
“Last season we got run off the court by Moberly,” Mirts said. In that game, the Kewpies lost 43-26.
The victory on Saturday pushes Hickman to 3-0 this season. With only three seniors on the team, Mirts said the early success is great.
“A lot of the older girls are used to losing, so it’s important to establish a mentality to win for the entire team,” Mirts said.
Mirts said that the big overtime win should propel the Kewpies to more success and that the team will benefit from the experience.
Hickman’s next game is on Monday at the McDonald’s Tournament at Blue Springs High School.