COLUMBIA — The Hickman girls basketball team defeated Camdenton 67-48 in the semifinal of the Class 5, District 9 tournament Thursday at Hickman High School.
The Kewpies jumped out to an early 6-0 lead but the Lakers wouldn’t go away easy and began to execute fast breaks and get defensive stops.
With 6:06 left in the second quarter, Hickman coach Tonya Mirts wasn’t happy with her team's play.
Camdenton guard Sophia Shore dribbled down the length of the court uncontested until she made a layup and was fouled by Hickman’s Emily Miller. Shore went over to her teammates and gave them enthusiastic high fives. The small group of Lakers fans started to make noise in the Hickman gym as the Kewpies' lead was cut to 17-14. Mirts called a timeout before the free throw and addressed a variety of things.
“I think more than anything it felt like we weren’t really competing,” Mirts said. “They were beating us to the 50-50 balls and on the offensive glass.”
Shore missed the free throw after the timeout and the Kewpies increased the intensity and finished the half on a 15-8 run.
A big turning point during the run was when junior guard Kendahl Adams scored off a Camdenton turnover. Seconds later, Jordan Matthews caught the Lakers napping and stole the inbounds pass under the basket, leading to a layup of her own.
Hickman carried the momentum and dominated the third quarter. Coach Mirts said that anyone from Hickman’s seven-player rotation can have a huge night. Adams (18 points) and Matthews (13 points) had big performances on Thursday.
“The one thing about our team this year is that it truly is a team,” Mirts said. “I thought we fed off of Kendahl and Jordan tonight.”
Adams scored the Kewpies' first five Hickman points to begin the third quarter. The guard led the Kewpies in scoring for the second straight game after a 25-point game against Sullivan on Friday.
Matthews closed the third quarter with seven unanswered points and showed some rare emotion. Matthews made a three-pointer and gave a fierce look to the bench.
“When I make a three that is energy to the team,” Matthews said. “It makes me feel good especially when shots are falling for me and they weren’t falling in the first half at all.”
On the next two possessions Matthews deflected passes for steals and finished with layups to stretch the Hickman lead to 53-32 going into the fourth quarter.
Hickman plays Rock Bridge in the district tournament final at 5 p.m. Saturday at Hickman. Hickman lost to Rock Bridge earlier this season 46-34 on Jan. 23.