Girls basketball beats Hickman

Abbie Powers

Sophie Cunningham sets up the offense on the three point line. Photo by Kayla Eiffert
A rivalry as old as time, or at least as old as 1973, the year the Bruins were born, pushed the crowd at tonight’s Rock Bridge/Hickman girls basketball game into cheers of hearty enthusiasm.
In their first game against Hickman of the season, Jan. 25, the Bruin ladies won 55-36 and fought with an exhilaration and vigor that showed their dedication.
The mighty force exhibited by the Bruins was based on skill and agility, and the team easily conveyed its passion and talent for its sport through the spirited, well executed performance of tonight’s game.
JV set the tone for victory, snagging a close win of 43-40 in double overtime. The court was then handed over to varsity, and players began warming up to cheers of waiting fans. Something in the atmosphere seemed to pump an extra amount of enthusiasm in the players and the crowd.
This enthusiasm picked up and dominated with the first blow of the whistle. The Bruins made a layup within seconds of the start, and rapidly acquired more points as the seconds ticked by. With just 1:14 gone from the first quarter, the Bruins already held nine points, much due to a forceful defense that owned the court.
“We came out from the start,” senior forward Carmen Boessen said. “We said we were going to smother them, and we did. I think we were well prepared and we all just wanted [to win] so badly.”
The game continued to move at a rapid pace throughout the rest of the first half. With 2:33 left in the first quarter, senior point guard Lindsay Cunningham caught the ball just before it flew out of bounce and continued down the court. Just before Cunningham scored a layup, she got fouled by a Hickman player and was able to grab another point with a free throw.
While there were 22 seconds left in the first quarter, junior Makenzie Skrabel made a three pointer, putting the Bruins ahead 23-6. This considerable lead so close to the start of the game established a steady, confident foundation to build upon.
Just 2:22 into the second quarter, freshman guard Sophie Cunningham made a three point shot. Before the Kewpies had time to turn it around, sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle secured the ball and scored yet another three pointer. With .4 seconds left in the first half, Cierra Porter was penalized. Even so, there was no time for Kewpies to take full advantage of the foul.
As the game continued, the Bruins managed to keep a solid advantage against the Kewpies. Lindsay Cunningham started the half out right with a swift layup, and points continued to flow due to strong guarding and affective, consistent scoring.
“I think we ran the floor the way we wanted to,” Boessen said, “and we had great energy on defense. I thought [offense] did well too. We pushed the ball quickly. There’s always room to improve, but we dictated like we wanted to.”
The Bruins finished the game with a 55-36 defeat against their number one opponent, a sweet, well deserved victory. “It feel amazing [to beat Hickman], especially as a senior, to win it just one more time,” Boessen said.
Girls basketball plays again Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. against Belleville East in the Webster Winter Challenge.