Normally Kyle Smith and his Hickman teammates shoot at halftime of the junior varsity game. Before Saturday’s varsity game against the University City Lions there was no shootaround.
“We were trying to save all of our shots for the game,” Smith said.
The Kewpies’ rationale must have worked.
Smith ties school 3's record
The Kewpies defeated University City 89-54 on Saturday at Hickman. Smith scored 21 points, tying a school record with seven 3-pointers. His two first-quarter 3-pointers sparked an 18-4 Hickman run that took the Lions out of the game for good. Hickman (12-13) went 12-of-24 from 3-point range.
“When you shoot the ball well you look like a million bucks,” Hickman coach Jim Sutherland said. “Kyle Smith got off to a good start … but Mikel Fields probably had his career night.”
Fields led the Kewpies with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Fields, a 6-foot-5 center, also played well on the perimeter making two 3-pointers and getting three steals.
“Its easier to play if you can shoot outside and take it inside,” Fields said.
University City turnover prone
University City (13-9) played sloppy basketball in the first half, committing 13 turnovers, two more than Hickman had in the game. By halftime, Hickman had a 40-26 lead.
Lions coach Danny Wansley attributed his team’s sluggish first half to fatigue. University City defeated Parkway South in overtime late Friday night and boarded the bus from St. Louis to Columbia at 7:45 on Saturday morning.
“We seem to have trouble playing back to back games,” Wansley said. “(Tonight) we were always a step slow.”
University City bounced back in the third quarter, scoring 24 points. The Kewpies scored 27 in the third, nine off Smith’s 3-pointers.
“Late in the second quarter we got a little careless with the ball,” Sutherland said, “and when we got that carelessness under control we got the momentum back going into the second half.”
With 57.8 seconds left in the first half, Sutherland told Hickman guard Michael Washington to “take control.”
Washington responded by working the ball around the perimeter and slowing the game’s tempo in the second half.
“Michael Washington, our starting point guard, is really beginning to make good decisions and play solid basketball at the point…which we need going into the district tournament,” Sutherland said.
Poor free-throw shooting plagued the Lions in the second half. Ryan Clark made University City’s only free throw as the team made 16 percent of their second-half free throws. Clark led the Lions with 13 points. University City fell apart in the fourth, scoring four points.
Although University City had a hard time against Hickman, the Lions are looking to finish strong.
“We’re disappointed we lost, but we still have a shot to win (the Suburban South) conference,” Lions forward Barron Bradshaw said.