Friday night was the second time in two weeks Hickman was in a critical situation late in the fourth quarter. Last week in the Troy Invitational, Hannibal's Dezi Jones tipped in the game-winning shot with 17.6 seconds left.

This time, Blair Oaks' Eric Northweather took advantage of a one-on-one advantage over senior Jarvis Jennings to sink the final basket with 4.7 seconds left in the game.

The Falcons held on to win 65-63, advancing to 4-1 on the season. 

"This is a position that these guys aren't used to being in," coach Cray Logan said. "Last year, we didn't have many tight games like this. So to be in this environment, this is exactly what we look for." 

Blair Oaks posed a different type of problem for the Kewpies. Northweather, a 6-foot-8 center, had a clear height advantage on any Hickman defender. This gave the Falcons an edge in the paint and on the boards whenever he was in the game. 

"It was definitely difficult," Logan said. "We were absolutely outsized." 

Hickman was down by seven points heading into the fourth quarter and went on a 6-1 run to get back into striking distance. 

With 58 seconds left in the fourth, senior Nyles Naylor drained a three from the top of the key to tie the game at 63. 

"We've practiced for this situation," Logan said. "We absolutely know that teams can't hang with us for four quarters. The way we run ... We are waiting on that moment when everybody knows the other team is tired and we are going to make our run." 

After the loss, Hickman is 3-3 on this season. The Kewpies play rival Jefferson City next at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Supervising editor is Theo DeRosa.

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