Fatigue, lack of depth hurt Kewpies in loss

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The Hickman girls basketball team took on Moberly in the Norm Stewart Classic on Sunday, just a day after the final game of a week-long tournament. The lack of rest showed in a 64-51 loss to the Spartans.

Hickman (1-4) played three games between Tuesday and Saturday, and didn't have a day off to rest before facing Moberly. Coach Anna Rorvig said the schedule, combined with the team's lack of depth, made it so the team played tired.

"Our kids are coming off playing three big games in a week," Rorvig said. "We have six kids who are playing almost 28 minutes a game. It looked like we were running through mud in the first half."

Moberly lit up the scoreboard in the first quarter, while the Kewpies struggled to get anything to go through the hoop. Three 3-pointers kept them in the game, but they trailed 18-11 by the time the first period ended.

Hickman tried to run its offense through senior Emma Chapman, but ended up forcing the ball inside against double teams and couldn't get much going early.

Junior Maci Kuchta had the hot hand in the first half, scoring 15 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome 14 first-half points from Moberly junior Mary Billington and another 11 from senior Sydney Flood. Hickman trailed 32-28 at the half.

After a 4-point play to start the half by Flood, the Kewpies did a good job keeping pace with the Spartans. Chapman began finding a rhythm offensively, but fouled out after a charge call with 33.1 seconds left in the third quarter. She finished the game with 11 points.

Hickman kept the game close in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter despite Chapman's absence. Rorvig said the defensive intensity kept them in the game.

"On the defensive end, we played hard," Rorvig said. "Almost every possession was one shot and they were done. It was just hard to capitalize on the stops without Emma in the game."

The loss of Chapman ended up being too much in the end, and Moberly pulled away late.

Kuchta finished the game with 23 points, but was outshined by Moberly's Billington and Flood, who combined for 44 points, 27 coming from Flood after scoring 16 in the second half.

Even when Chapman was in the game, the Kewpies' short bench and lack of shooters kept them from capitalizing when Moberly's double-teams left other players open.

"We don't have that fifth player at the moment that can knock down an open look," Rorvig said. "They can sag off and double team."

Hickman's next game is Dec. 10 when it plays host to Tolton.

Supervising editor is Michael Knisley.

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