Rock Bridge scored an easy layup at the beginning of the game to take the lead.
That was the only time the Bruins led.
Hickman quickly responded with a layup and had control the rest of the way in a 50-45 victory Friday night at Hickman High.
The Kewpies (9-11), in front of a standing room only crowd, played suffocating defense and dictated the pace.
“The defensive effort (was what) we needed to win the ball game,” Hickman coach Jim Sutherland said. “We stayed in our man-to-man, pressed a few times and didn’t give them an easy look. We took them out of their offensive flow.”
The Kewpies went on a 5-0 run at the start of the third quarter to build a 32-22 lead. The Bruins (13-6) did not score until Rob Adams stopped a nearly six-minute drought with a free throw. Hickman led 34-25 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Bruins rallied with 10 points from Adams to cut the deficit to 45-42 with 55 seconds left. Rock Bridge was forced to foul, though, as Hickman held the ball to run down the clock. The Kewpies made 5-of-6 foul shots in the final minute to secure the win.
“We didn’t hit free throws at the beginning of the game, but we did at the end and that was ultimately the difference,” Sutherland said.
In the second quarter, Kewpies reserve Kyle Smith made three 3-pointers. At the end of the first half, his half-court shot went in but did not count because of a traveling violation. Smith finished with 11 points.
“(My shot) felt good in warm-ups and everything else just followed from there,” Smith said.
Hickman’s Mikel Fields finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Taylor Florence added nine points.
Adams led the Bruins with 18 points. John Stull finished with 15 points.