COLUMBIA — Hickman High School senior forward El Dorema made a play in the second quarter of the Kewpies' 63-46 win over Liberty that surprised everyone in the gym — except his teammates.
After a Hickman turnover, Liberty guard Cody Winters dribbled toward what he thought was an uncontested lay-up.
Dorema thought differently.
Leaping from behind Winters, the 6-foot-4-inch Dorema pinned the ball between the rim and the backboard. The ball stayed there until another Liberty player, admitting defeat, poked it out from where Dorema had forced it.
While the Kewpies bench roared with excitement, it was nothing they hadn't seen before.
"Oh yeah, I do that sort of thing all the time, it's no big deal," Dorema said.
"I have seen him do that a bunch," said sophomore guard Chris Clark, who paced the Kewpies on the offensive end with game highs of 13 points and five assists. "It's a huge play that always gets the whole team excited. Thankfully he has never caught me with one in practice."
Hickman coach David Johnson stressed that Dorema's play, which came with a Kewpies lead near 10, was one of the turning points in the game.
"That was a big play. The momentum was starting to swing their way at that point," Johnson said. "They got a steal and were going for a layup and then Dorema made that play and it helped us get control of the game."
Dorema's play in the second quarter was one of his four blocks, to go along with eight points and seven rebounds. Dorema was relentless on the defensive end, altering the shots of every Liberty player who entered the lane and forcing traps as the Kewpies implemented their full court press.
Dorema said he was doing the job his team needs him to do.
"I just run the floor, get back and guard the basket with lots of energy," Dorema said. "I just kept running. I was tired. I was just busting my butt for my team."
Wednesday night's game was the second in a trio of home games for the Kewpies this week. The Kewpies will host senior night against Helias Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday.