As good as the Columbia Hickman High School girls’ basketball team was last season - and it was good enough to possibly make a long postseason run if not stuck in the same district with state champion Columbia Rock Bridge - the Lady Kewpies could be even better this season.
At least the Waynesville Lady Tigers are believers.
Hickman opened its season looking as strong as ever Monday night, blasting Waynesville 90-39 in non-league action at the WHS gym.
Last season Waynesville also lost to Hickman 62-22 in an early game. The Lady Kewpies went on to finish 22-5, losing to eventual Class 5 state champion Rock Bridge in the championship game of the District 9 Tournament.
On Monday Hickman’s defense produced numerous Lady Tiger turnovers, which were turned into Lady Kewpie transition baskets.
“Once again turnovers and not matching up on defense hurt us,” said Waynesville head coach Brittany Matlock, whose squad falls to 0-2. “Hickman is a good team that is very well-coached. We know what we have to work on and things will work out as long as we continue to take steps forward instead of backwards.”
Hickman bolted to a 21-9 lead after the first period and was in control the rest of the way.
A brutal second period put the Lady Tigers away. The Lady Kewpies outscored WHS a whopping 32-4 in the second quarter to coast into intermission with a 53-13 advantage.
It was 77-31 heading into the fourth period.
Kallie Bildner, a 6-2 sophomore, fired in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Lady Tigers while 5-10 senior forward Hannah Bland had nine points and four boards.
Emily Miller, a 5-9 junior returning all-stater, netted a game-high 28 points for Hickman while 5-5 senior guard Jordan Matthews added 20 points and five assists.
Hickman also won the junior varsity game 56-26.
The Lady Tigers will play their first road game of the season on Monday, traveling to Sullivan for a non-league contest. The jayvee game is to begin at 6 p.m. with the varsity contest to follow.
Waynesville (39): Bildner 14, Laughlin 4, Herrmann 4, Simmons 4, Kizzee 4, Bland 9.
Hickman (90): Logan 9, Mirts 7, Nichols 1, Adams 13, Storm 4, Matthews 20, Miller 28, White 4, Jones 4.