Gibault beats Waterloo, advances to tourney finals

33 versus 33 – Gibault forward/guard Brendan McFarland has determination written all over his face as he shoots over his numerical counterpart on the Waterloo team, Shane Lenhardt (33). (Alan Dooley photo)

Crosstown rivals Gibault and Waterloo fought a back-and-forth contest in the semifinals of the Freeburg/Columbia Holiday Basketball Tournament at Freeburg Friday night before the Hawks finally downed the Bulldogs, 38-36.

Gibault got off to an early lead, ending the first quarter up 12-4.  What looked like a possible runaway victory for the Hawks, however, turned into a hard fought contest as the two teams went to their locker rooms tied 16-16 at halftime.

Waterloo clawed its way to a two-point lead at the end of the third quarter, up 31-29.

The final two minutes saw both teams knotted at 36-36 before Gibault (12-1) finally wrested the lead at 38-36 with just more than a minute to play.  The ball changed hands several times in the final minute, but Gibault hung on for the thrilling win.

Shane Lenhardt led the way in scoring for the Bulldogs (7-5) with 11 points. Gibault’s Wes Degener led all scorers with 12 points in the game, including two clutch three-pointers.

Gibault will face Alton-Marquette Saturday in the tournament finals at 8 p.m., while Waterloo will take on Murphysboro in the tournament’s third place game at 6:30 p.m.

To view up-to-date tournament brackets and schedule, click here.

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