JEFFERSON CITY — Having spent most of the game with the basketball in her hands, Hickman senior Lauren Harris was ready to hold something new.
She found it in the form of a Class 5 District 10 championship trophy, which she never let go of after the top-seeded Kewpies’ 69-39 win against second-seed Jefferson City on Saturday at Helias.
Hickman has won five consecutive district titles. It was also the fourth in a row for the seniors, the first time Hickman has accomplished that.
“I’m so happy we’ve got another one,” Harris said. “It feels good. It’s exciting. All of them mean something.”
Hickman, ranked ninth nationally and winner of 16 straight, meets Francis Howell (19-8) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a Class 5 sectional at Borgia High in Washington.
Hickman’s win comes more than two weeks after it edged the Jays 44-43 at Jefferson City High. The Kewpies (27-1) wanted anything but another close game against the Jays (16-11).
“Our game plan was to be in an attack mode right away; last time we played them a little tentatively,” Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said. “I think we set the tone early with that type of aggressiveness.”
Hickman’s intensity was evident in its defensive pressure, which forced nine first quarter turnovers and didn’t allow a Jefferson City field goal until 1:15 was left.
Kewpies offense powers to a commanding lead
“We definitely wanted to come out and attack them and try to end the game early,” senior guard Amy Bolerjack said.
On offense, Harris, a 6-foot-2 center, established her presence early, scoring six first-quarter points as the Kewpies opened a 19-4 lead.
Hickman’s lead ballooned to 39-15 at halftime as Amy and Jodi Bolerjack started hitting from the perimeter. Amy Bolerjack had 10 first-half points, and Jodi Bolerjack added nine.
“Right from the start they came out and took control of the game, and we never got back in it,” Jefferson City coach Doug Light said. “They came out with a purpose and hit their shots. They just got on a roll and when a team like that gets on a roll it’s hard to stop it.”
Another Hickman roll occurred in the third quarter when Stephanie Burger, Kaela Rorvig and Jodi Bolerjack connected on three straight 3-pointers, highlighting a 21-5 run to end the quarter.
Harris scored a team-high 20 and finished what she started. With a running clock in effect because of the mercy rule that starts if a team is ahead by 30 in the fourth quarter, Harris opened the quarter by scoring on three of Hickman’s first four possessions.