SEDALIA – Jodi Bolerjack did more than lead Hickman to victory Saturday.
She outscored the other team in the first half.
Hickman beat the Springfield Kickapoo Chiefs 55-40 to advance to the Class 5 girls’ basketball semifinals this week at Hearnes Center.
Bolerjack outscored Kickapoo in the first half, 16-14. She started off well, scoring 11 of the Kewpies’ 13 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, she slowed, but so did Kickapoo. Bolerjack outscored it 5-4.
Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said she was impressed with Bolerjack’s performance.
“I think she was kind of making up for lost time,” Mirts said. “I think everybody was feeling things out and she was like, ‘Man, I’ve been here before, so let’s get this ball rolling,’ and I really think she jump-started us.”
Bolerjack’s teammates sang her praises as well.
“I think she had 11 points out of our first 13,’’ Hickman guard Kaela Rorvig said. “I mean, she was just unstoppable at the beginning.”
Bolerjack said that her early success was all a part of the plan.
“(I was) just trying to get an early lead and put the pressure on them,” Bolerjack said. “I was just going to come out and attack them. That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to make them feel the pressure and we did, and that’s what worked for us.”
Lauren Harris, a Hickman forward, also played a large role in Hickman’s success. Harris again turned in a dominant defensive performance with nine blocks. She also had 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. Her intensity late in the game was most important, for she continued to attack on both ends of the floor, despite having four fouls.
Harris said she felt better as the game wore on.
“As I started counting down, I started to feel better,” she said. “We were getting closer and closer.”
Bolerjack said Harris gave the team the performance they have come to expect.
“She played great,” Bolerjack said. “She wasn’t letting the refs get to her. She was trying to stay away from foul trouble, and she did, and she converted on the other end as well.”
Harris might not have had her best offensive night, but Mirts said she played well when it mattered.
“Late in the game I think she got two good muscle looks inside that were really key,” she said. “She was kind of not hitting, and they were sort of putting the pressure on our perimeter.
“She had to convert a couple of those, and she did. She delivered.”