COLUMBIA — The gym echoed with cheers from both the Hickman and the Wentzville Holt fans. Cheree Walton was among the crowd, sporting a jersey with the name "Walteezy" across her shoulders.
Walton, mother of Kewpies girls basketball player Cherish “Walteezy” Walton, is a notable presence on the Hickman sidelines.
"I can always hear her yelling scripture and things like that to me," Cherish Walton said. "It's like having another coach."
In Hickman's 57-54 victory Tuesday night over Holt, Cheree Walton couldn't stay away from the action.
During a scuffle under the basket, Cherish Walton, a forward, hurt her neck and came out of the game only to find her mother anxiously waiting with the team.
"We don’t have many varsity players left, especially in that position," Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said.
Hickman has to be wary of injuries this season. Senior Paige Nelson is already out with a torn ACL, and sophomore Kendahl Adams recently returned from a shoulder injury. Both Cherish Walton and Adams, a guard, had to sit out while their team battled to keep the lead.
After leading Holt 31-21 at halftime, Hickman had to hold off the Indians down the stretch.
"I was worried that the trainer was going to tell me I couldn’t go on the floor," Cherish Walton said. "I needed to focus on getting the win and making sure I was there for my team."
After a short break, Cherish Walton returned to the game while her mother yelled, "Let’s go Teezy!" from the crowd.
Cherish Walton scored 13 points, the second most of the game, behind Kewpies forward Emily Miller with 23 points.
"The kids found some way of regrouping and finishing the game off," Mirts said.
The Kewpies, who improved to 17-4* with the victory, play next in a home game at 7 p.m. Friday against Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.