Gibault falls just short of tourney title in Pinckneyville

Gibault battles Pinckneyville on Saturday. (Pinckneyville Press photo)

Gibault fought hard all day, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough.

The Hawks lost a heartbreaker to Carterville on Saturday night, a 65-61 overtime loss in the championship game of the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic at Pinckneyville High School after winning a nailbiter against the host team earlier in the day to get there. Sophomore Trevor Davis turned in a spectacular performance, scoring 24 points in the loss.

It was clear from the opening tip that the title game would be a battle that would come down to the wire. Gibault and Carterville went back and forth all night, starting with a fast-paced opening quarter which saw several lead changes. Davis’s three-pointer gave the Hawks a 17-11 advantage after one.

Centerville came alive in the second quarter, using defense and hot shooting to go on a big run and take a four-point lead. It looked as if the Lions might pull away, but Davis and Brian Deterding — two of the Hawks’ stars of the tournament — kept their team in the game with some nice work in the paint. Gibault trailed 31-28 at halftime.

The see-saw game continued into the second half. The Hawks cut the Lions lead to a single point on several occasions, but Carterville answered every challenge with a basket of their own. Three-pointers on back-to-back possessions gave Carterville a seven-point lead, but Davis once again helped his team back in the game, stealing a pass, dribbling the length of the court and finishing with a thunderous dunk as the third quarter buzzer sounded. The Lions held a 43-38 advantage heading into the final frame, but Gibault seemed to have seized the momentum.

The Hawks continued to chip away in the fourth quarter. After a couple of Deterding layups and a Jacob Rueter jumper, the score was tied at 49. Carterville scored a basket on its next possession, but Gibault responded with a big bucket of its own when Zach Rueter hit a layup while being fouled. Rueter hit the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play and give his team a 52-51 lead. A Deterding steal and lay-in helped the Hawks extend the lead to three points with 45 seconds left, but the Lions, hot from behind the arc all night, hit a big-time three with 30 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

With momentum on its side, Carterville continued to shoot lights out from three-point land. The Hawks continued to battle until the very end, but couldn’t get enough shots to fall, eventually losing by four despite a valiant effort. Davis, Deterding and Jacob Rueter were all named to the All-Tournament Team.

Davis comes through in clutch against Pinckneyville 

Gibault reached the title game by earning a tense thriller over host Pinckneyville, 41-39, earlier on Saturday.  Davis led the way with 14 points, while Jacob Rueter added 12.

The game was defined by runs. The Hawks jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, but the Panthers stormed back and tied the game at 9-9 just before the end of the first quarter. Pinckneyville’s big run continued into the second quarter, using hot shooting from behind the arc and the free throw line to take a 22-13 lead into the half.

Gibault came out firing in the second half, catching fire from three-point land. Davis, Jacob Rueter and Jacob Bircher hit big threes to help the Hawks go on a 15-4 third quarter run to get back into the game, but Gibault still faced a two-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks continued to fight, and used another big run to tie the game at 39 all with two minutes to play. A couple of missed shots for both teams set Gibault up for one final shot, and Davis delivered with a game-winning jumper with 2.8 seconds remaining to send the Hawks into the final.

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