It isn't the greatest start to the season, but the Hickman boys basketball team is confident that the 1-2 showing at the Peoples Bank & Trust Invitational at Troy Buchanan this past week is nothing but just a small setback for what should be a year full of improvements.
The Kewpies lost to thehost, the Trojans, 87-60 on Monday. On Wednesday, they suffered a similar fate, falling to Hazelwood West 71-59 before ending the tournament with a 59-49 victory over Hannibal.
The ability to bounce back after tough losses is going to be a key characteristic as the season continues. Hickman head coach Cray Logan said that the team was willing to come back after its first two games of the season and the players didn't hang their heads and give up.
"We've constantly seen that these guys are leaders and they're willing to communicate and demand greatness from their brothers," he said.
The first few games of the season are filled with errors as teams try to figure out the roles of each player. Hickman is no different. Logan said the team is young and now has around six guys in the regular rotation that had never played varsity before.
Troy Buchanan and Hazelwood West took advantage of this, capitalizing on the mistakes Hickman committed. Unforced errors and a lack of discipline led to easy transition points for the Trojans and the Wildcats.
It looked like the Kewpies figured out a little piece of the puzzle in their final game against Hannibal. Shots began to fall, ball distribution was better and they took advantage of what the Pirates' defense gave them, along with playing great half-court defense, according to Logan.
The starting five for Hickman consists of Ben Wilson, Adam Traschel, Henry Wilson, Seth Larson and Nate Wilson. A four-guard lineup, with Nate being registered as a forward in the stat sheets.
An unusually small lineup that's been assembled because of its speed, athleticism and endurance is being trained by Logan, so that the players can use these skills to their advantage as much as possible.
"We expect to play at a faster pace. That's one thing we thrive on," Logan said. "Attacking the defense in an area where we can get some type of help so that we can distribute to our brothers."
Logan is expecting that the Kewpies' transition offense will assist them in gaining momentum. He said the team doesn't have go-to scorers and will use the speed to spread the floor to find the open shots.
Logan also said that leadership is high on the expectations chart, as he and the rest of the coaching staff are looking to turn these boys into men the community can be proud to have.
"It's going to be an all-out effort from our guys on the roster," Logan said.