Ugly or not, it’s a win for the Hickman boys’ basketball team.
The Kewpies started strong, but lacked execution in the second half as they defeated Waynesville 62-52 on Saturday at Hickman.
Hickman coach Jim Sutherland said it was ugly.
“We have not come out well in the second half for the last five or six games and we were certainly consistent again with that tonight,” Sutherland said.
Hickman (6-9) had a 13-point lead at halftime after Waynesville’s Andrew Perkins made a 3-pointer at the buzzer from nearly half court.
Although its defense was good at times, Hickman broke down, Sutherland said. That allowed Waynesville’s Noon Rawaekklang to lead all scorers with 17 points.
“We (would have) one guy break down and get back-doored, or go to sleep, or give up double penetration and therefore we couldn’t get that lead back and put the game away,” Sutherland said.
Problems with defense also were evident in the first half when Sutherland wouldn’t let junior Kyle Smith play offense after a poor defensive effort. When Hickman ran its offense, Smith had to stand next to the Kewpies’ bench, making it 4-on-5. Sutherland, who has done this before, said he would have kept him out on defense, too, but a coach suggested he play.
“We scored ... so we obviously didn’t need him on offense,” Sutherland said. “If he’s not going to play defense, I’m not going to have him play offense. He’s a good shooter, but he (needs to) figure out that if he wants to play and stay out on the court, he’s going to have to defend.”
Overall, Hickman’s defensive effort was positive.
“The other positive thing about the game … was the fact that (Waynesville) would make those runs at you, and then we found ways to get them at the throat to halt their run and get a little ... lead going,” Sutherland said.
The Tigers went on a 15-4 run to bring the score within 41-37 points to open the second half.
From that point, the Kewpies took control of the game. An 11-2 run brought back the momentum and the Tigers were never again within six points.
Junior Taylor Trogdon led the 3-point shooting with five. The Kewpies didn’t want to shoot from the perimeter, they wanted to penetrate, Sutherland said.
“We didn’t want to shoot 3s,” Sutherland said. “We wanted to drive the ball to the basket. It was a real struggle to get the guys to do what we wanted them to.”
Taylor Florence and Michael Washington are effective at driving the lane and kicking it out for the 3, Sutherland said.
Florence, who had 11 points, and Washington with four points, are relied on for Hickman’s inside game because the Kewpies are not big.
One of their big men, Mikel Fields, had eight points, including a dunk.