COLUMBIA – Hickman boys' basketball coach David Johnson always says his team can play any type of game.
What he means is that the Kewpies (26-2) can morph into whatever style of play they need to in order to win games.
What: Class 5 state semifinals game
When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Mizzou Arena, 1 Champions Drive
In the Class 5 state semifinals on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena, Hickman will have to adapt once again against Hazelwood Central (25-5).
But they've done this once before.
On Jan. 26, Hickman beat the Hawks by 23 points in the MFA Oil Break Time Shootout at Mizzou Arena. The Kewpies, this season, have never started any player taller than 6-foot-3. In the previous matchup, Hazelwood Central had three starters 6-5 or taller.
"We've been undersized forever," senior Chris Clark said after a one-point victory over Waynesville in the first round of the state tournament.
They deal with their height disadvantage by using a lot of help defense. Star junior guard Jimmy Whitt routinely rotates from the perimeter to help defend the post.
In the January game against Hazelwood Central, the Kewpies limited the Hawks to 30 percent shooting from the field.
Hickman will need another strong defensive performance to avenge its 2013 semifinal loss to Rockhurst, which went on to win the state championship.
Supervising editor is Mark Selig.