Hickman girls basketball topples Sullivan despite poor performance

Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 10:56 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — It wasn’t the emphatic end to the season they were looking for.

The Hickman Kewpies (23-1) finished off their one-loss season with an uninspired 56-45 win over the Sullivan Eagles (21-6).

Senior point guard Jordan Matthews turned it over on the first possession and throughout the game.

She was also a liability on defense.

Matthews is 5-foot-5 and lacks any size. Whoever she was guarding would cut to the basket and crash the boards. Matthews looked helpless in the post.

“Our defense was not very good, and we couldn’t get a rebound,” said fellow senior guard Kendahl Adams.

During the fourth quarter, Matthews stopped moving her feet on defense and played flat. She finished with one point and won’t remember her final game fondly.

Coach Tonya Mirts was forced to call multiple timeouts to pick her team up throughout the game, and spent most of the breaks in Matthews’ face.

A couple of hustle plays by Adams and big shots by Adams, junior Emily Miller and junior Katie Storm maintained the Kewpie lead throughout.

Miller finished with 20 points, Adams with 15 and Storm with 10.

“Katie really stepped up,” Adams said. The points Storm scored, her teammates said, were crucial.

Storm hit two corner threes, each when the game was close.

“Our team really needed that confidence boost,” Storm said.

The Kewpies pushed the pace, which led to mistakes and turnovers. However, it also tired the Eagles.

By the end of the third quarter, Sullivan guard Tessa Johanning had arms and a face the color of a tomato.

It was the first close game the Kewpies had been in this month, and tensions were high during and after the game.

After the game, Mirts declined to answer questions about Matthews but said the teams as a whole had a “real poor performance.”

The team did finish the game strong, but they didn’t quite put an exclamation mark on the end of their season.

The district tournament will begin for the Kewpies on Thursday. The presumed title game against Rock Bridge, the lone team that beat Hickman this season, would come March 8.

Supervising editor is Sean Morrison.

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Dan Holt February 28, 2014 | 7:56 a.m.

I am not a graduate or a fan in particular of Kewpie girls basketball, but this article was unprofessional in its coverage of the game. It is in VERY poor taste to single out a high school player and berate them in a newspaper article for not playing a game up to their regular standards. Matthews is a VERY good basketball player and does not deserve this kind of bashing for having an off-night.

If the coach feels the need to get on a player to inspire them, that's one thing. For a reporter to do so after the fact is just poor journalism. Shame on you and your editor for letting this kind of reporting take place.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 28, 2014 | 8:10 a.m.

DanHolt: Wow, I agree with you. What a horrible story. I wonder how Jacob would feel if his editor posted "Jacob is a liability to this newspaper and looks helpless in his efforts. I've spent a lot of time in his face over this article, and I wanted ALL of you readers to know it!"

My heart goes out to Jordan. As the father of a former Hickman trackster, I know there are "bad days" to be learned from and then forgotten.

Jacob is a bully and should be ashamed. The editor allowing this publication is the same.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 28, 2014 | 8:29 a.m.

Harsh words from a coach sting for only a short time.

Words in a newspaper sting forever because the hard copy exists forever.

Especially for a hard-working, dedicated young woman still in high school....whose father/mother is likely keeping a scrapbook of her efforts.


(Report Comment)
Greg Butz February 28, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

I don't see anything wrong with the story.

Did she turn the ball over repeatedly during the game?

Did the opposing team take advantage of a player on the Hickman team?

Did she play flat-footed?

How about the parts of the article that sing the praises of the players who stepped up?

(Report Comment)
Greg Butz February 28, 2014 | 4:53 p.m.

Congratulations to the Hickman girls, those who struggled during the game and those that dug deep to pull out a victory. Let us hope that the team is firing on all cylinders during district play. The team will need Jordan, as well as the rest of the players on the team to be playing their best if they hope to beat a tough Rock Bridge team. Go Jordan! Go Kewpies!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 28, 2014 | 5:15 p.m.


I wasn't at the game, so I don't know the validity of "yes" answers to your self-questions. I'm willing to believe your answers are accurate.


Chastise in private.
Praise in public.
Especially for our youth.

PS: This applies to employees, too.

(Report Comment)

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