Exciting finish extends Hickman’s streak over Bruins

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Pen Terry

[heading]No. 1 Hickman 68, No. 10 Rock Bridge 66: Kewpies win fourth straight[/heading]

In their first meeting at “The Den of the Bruins” since the Kewpies (9-0) edged RBHS (8-1) in triple overtime on Jan. 22, 2013 HHS again topped the home team, this time in the standard four quarters.

With a final score of 68-66, Hickman took the first of what could be a potential four meetings this season between the two schools. RBHS and HHS play again at Hickman in January. A week prior the two teams could meet in the Lee’s Summit basketball tournament and could potentially play each other again in the district tournament in March. Regardless of future games to be played, the first game was yet another to remember in the intense rivalry series.

Photo by Mikaela Acton
Senior guard Jackson Dubinski shouts for offensive aid last week at practice, preparing for their game against Hickman. Putting up a good fight, the game came down to the final seconds as Hickman pulled away 68-66. Photo by Mikaela Acton

“You know, just getting a victory is a good thing,” Hickman head basketball coach David Johnson said. “Obviously the rivalry against Rock Bridge, it’s always nice, but it was a tough one, a hard fought basketball game, and Rock Bridge really put up a good fight, and I thought our boys played 32 minutes and were able to get it done.”

The Bruins raced out to an early 21-13 lead after one quarter of play thanks to balanced offensive play from senior Jackson Dubinski as well as juniors Ryan Kreklow and Josh Broadus.

The eight point cushion going into the first intermission was aided dramatically by Broadus’ three quarter court length shot that banked off the backboard and found the hoop as time expired.

Despite Kreklows’ 13 first half points, including seven for seven from the stripe, the Bruins lead at halftime dwindled to 34-32.

The Kewpies second quarter resurgence was sparked by Hickman guards Jimmy Whitt and Douglas Johnson who each hit several big shots in the quarter and combined for 21 first half points.

The Bruins came out of halftime and went on a 9-2 run to inflate their lead to nine thanks to the field goal shooting of Dubinski.

Unfortunately after this run RBHS managed only six more points in the quarter while Hickman was able to capitalize on several Bruin turnovers and put up 18 more points before the end of the third to take the lead 52-49. With 41.5 seconds left in the third, Whitt stole a pass and broke down the length of the court to slam home a dunk, after which, in his excitement, he was given a technical foul.

“It was just in the moment,” Whitt said. “I did a big dunk. I just yelled, and I guess they took it as I was yelling in his face and they called a technical.”

The foul was Whitts’ fourth of the half and resulted in his being benched for much of the fourth quarter.

Despite this the Bruins trailed by two possessions for much of the fourth quarter thanks in large part to the outstanding 11-for-14 shooting performance the Kewpies were able to put on in the second half.

With three minutes to go in the game Whitt, who had recently returned to the floor, committed his disqualifying 5th foul.

“Well, the good thing about us is that we are a complete team,” Coach Johnson said of Whitt fouling out. “We got guys that can make plays and they just kept it up, and made the plays when they had to, but I thought more importantly we got it done on the defensive end.”

Down the stretch the Kewpies were able to hit their free throws with senior Reece Bader converting on 4-5 from the line. Despite a last second half court three pointer by senior Bruin guard Zach Carroll, HHS hung on to win 66-68 extending their winning streak over their crosstown rivals to 4.

“(The difference tonight was) our inability to execute and do what we’re supposed to do,” Rock Bridge head coach Jim Scanlon said. “It’s kind of amazing our just inability to do the thing.”

The Bruins inability to execute, particularly on the defensive end, seemed to hurt them, particularly in the second half and fourth quarter, especially.

“I wouldn’t say the game got out of hand in the fourth quarter,” Dubinki said. “It was close the whole game, it’s just they make plays, that’s why they’re number one in the state. We just couldn’t capitalize, we couldn’t execute. It’s early in the season and we can change that and this game doesn’t matter it’s the one at the end of the season”

The Bruins will return to action Dec. 21 in the HyVee shootout at Avila University in Kansas City.

by Pen Terry