Thursday had been a long time coming for Hickman boys basketball.
For the first time since 2013, the Kewpies defeated Rock Bridge, beating their crosstown rival 62-50 at Hickman.
The Kewpies (10-10) got out to an early lead and never let off the gas. Right from the get-go, Hickman played with energy by focusing on driving into the paint and getting high-percentage looks inside.
Before the game, Hickman coach Cray Logan emphasized to his team the importance of getting out to an early lead.
“Confidence was the biggest factor for our guys,” Logan said. “(The team) knew they were supposed to win right away.”
After ending the first quarter down 13-9, the Bruins (11-7) still trailed at half by six but got a last-second 3 entering the locker room from guard Xavier Sykes.
Coming out of the break, Rock Bridge switched its defensive scheme to a full-court press, which confused Hickman — at first. The stifling defense led to a few makes, including a nifty transition basket from Sykes and a thunderous dunk from forward Nate Norris. However, the Kewpies adjusted by moving the ball quicker and scoring that way, which proved to be enough to secure the win.
Overall, rebounding was the deciding factor in the game. The Bruins came out flat offensively, and despite playing sound defense, gave up too many second-chance points to give them a shot at a comeback.
This marks Rock Bridge’s first Central Missouri Activities Conference loss. And despite the historic implications of the win, Logan downplayed the importance of the victory in his postgame remarks.
“It’s really special to take down our crosstown rivals, but our team is still focused on bigger things,” Logan said. “We think we can get through districts and make a state run, so while it feels good now, our guys are looking to bigger things.”
Hickman next plays at St. Louis University High at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Rock Bridge takes on Northeast Kansas City at 6 p.m. Friday at home.