Basketball officials signal 3-point attempts by lifting an arm.
After Jefferson City’s 78-60 win against the Hickman boys Tuesday night, there will be some officials with ice packs wrapped around their tired arms. The Kewpies shot 26 3-pointers at Hickman.
“That’s our game, that’s how we play,” Hickman guard Taylor Trogdon said. “That’s what we have to do. We have to keep shooting. And if they’re not falling, shoot some more.”
The Jays shot 6-of-14 on 3-pointers and combined that perimeter shooting with solid play down low to improve to 5-0. Hickman is 2-3 and 0-2 at home.
“Unless you’re looking at something else than I’m looking at, I haven’t got anybody that can post up and throw the ball to him and score,” Hickman coach Jim Sutherland said. “We don’t have a post-up player.”
Until the Kewpies develop someone who can, Sutherland knows his team is going to live and die with the perimeter game. Against the Jays, it helped keep them stay afloat early.
Hickman built a 12-6 first quarter lead thanks to two 3s from Trogdon, who finished with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. When Jefferson City opened a 25-17 lead, another 3, this one from forward Stuart Denson, helped the Kewpies stay close. As Hickman started missing shots, the Jays closed the half on a 15-5 run.
Facing a 40-25 halftime deficit, Bret Burchard’s 3-pointer ignited a 7-0 run that pulled Hickman to within eight. Jefferson City responded in a hurry, scoring nine straight to end hopes of a Kewpie comeback. Hickman would come no closer the rest of the way.
The Kewpies were 5-of-18 from long range in the second half and 8-of-26 on the night. At times, they seemed to settle for the jumper instead of trying to work the ball inside.
“I just think that’s the way we play,” guard Taylor Florence said. “We’re gonna keep playing like that. They’re might be some nights like this.”
A pair of 6-foot-5 senior post players, Mark Ommen and Collins Harris, gave the Kewpies big problems. Ommen finished with 18 points, and Harris was close to unstoppable. He opened the game by connecting on his first five shots and finished tied Ommen with a game-high 18 points.
Harris did a little bit of everything, from scoring on driving layups to blocking a shot into the stands that sent the Jefferson City fans into a frenzy. He also displayed a nice touch from 16 feet from the basket.
“We let (Harris) shoot the ball early,” Sutherland said. “We thought we could play off him a little bit. Obviously, he’s learned to shoot the ball a little bit better.”