The Hickman boys’ basketball team knows it will go through some growing pains this year. The team has one senior and its lack of experience showed Tuesday.
The Kewpies lost to Glendale 81-66 at home in the team’s first game of the year.
The Falcons dominated the first half and led 44-26 at the break.
Hickman coach Jim Sutherland attributed the slow start to first-game jitters.
“It was a team effort in nervousness and inexperience,” Sutherland said. “And we didn’t shoot the ball well from the free-throw line.”
Hickman ended the game 14-of-28 from the line.
Glendale senior Spud Harbour dominated the first half with 17 points.
“They had good screens and we couldn’t get it to him in time,” Sutherland said. “He can shoot the ball ... When you get on a roll you think you can hit it from anywhere and he pretty much did.”
Harbour was limited to eight points in the second half.
The Kewpies used all 12 of the players that dressed for the game.
Taylor Florence, the lone senior for the Kewpies, said the constant substitutions and lineup changes didn’t faze him.
“We press the whole game so that is part of our style,” Florence said. “We are going to move in and out, find the best rotation and keep moving on.”
Despite trailing by as many as 30 points in the second half, Sutherland said he was pleased with his team’s progress.
They gave a great effort in the second half, and competed and didn’t care what the score was,” Sutherland said. “That is probably the biggest thing we can take away.”
Hickman’s press created multiple turnovers in the second half and Sutherland said the Kewpies played a better inside game. The Kewpies, though, could only get within 13 points of the Falcons.
Sutherland said there is a lot that the team can learn from the season opener.
“You are never pleased with a loss,” Sutherland said. “However how we lost: we gave our best effort, worked as hard as we could and got better throughout out the game. So now if we can become consistent and improve the areas of deficiencies, we will get better in a hurry.”
Florence said he wasn’t going to worry about the loss.
“It’s only the first game,” he said. “We are still learning to play.”
Harbour led all scorers with 25 points. Florence led the Kewpies with 17 points, and Derrick Smith, a junior guard, had 8 rebounds.