COLUMBIA — Junior Jordan Matthews didn’t begin the season as a starter, but she offers a lot to the Hickman girls basketball team.
A quick left-handed release makes her a 3-point threat. Her lateral quickness and athleticism gives the Kewpies the capability to press on defense. Most importantly she is another point guard option and can start when injuries take a toll during a long season.
“Teams are lucky if they have one good point guard,” Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said. “We have three options.”
Matthews has started the past four games at point guard because starter Jade Holly suffered a concussion. Shooting guard Kendahl Adams is also available.
The Kewpies commonly use a seven-player rotation in games, and whether Matthews starts or comes off the bench, she has the same mindset on the court.
“Coach Mirts says all seven of us are starters, but when I come off the bench, I try to bring energy and intensity when the girls are tired and I’m fresh,” Matthews said.
Matthews is coming off a season high 18-point performance Tuesday against Jefferson City. Matthews was happy with her scoring but also took pride in her passing. When a Kewpies player dishes out an extraordinary assist, the Hickman PA announcer says who made the pass along with who scored. The PA announcer said, “assist by Jordan Matthews” several times on Tuesday.
“It makes me happy to let the crowd know I got an assist, too,” Matthews said enthusiastically after the game.
Going into the season as the sixth man, Matthews wanted to improve on her shooting and duties as a point guard. Her grandfather and mother are referees, so she knows the game well and is motivated to work hard.
“Jordan has been around the game a long time, so she has a basketball IQ that other players don’t have,” Mirts said.
Matthews has gotten better in her second season on the varsity team and has taken on a true point guard mentality.
“I like assists just like I like to shoot,” Matthews said. “It’s fun for my teammates, it’s fun for me, and I get excited about it.”
And ideally, with the district tournament less than three weeks away, the Kewpies will be healthy and at full strength as soon as possible.