Last season, Gibault won its first regional boys basketball title since 1999 and advanced all the way to the sectional championship game. There, the Hawks fell in heartbreaking fashion to eventual state runner-up Madison. Friday night, Dennis Rueter’s team made a return trip to the sectional final, determined to finish the job.
With a dominating 59-45 victory over Springfield Lutheran, Gibault did just that, winning the school’s first sectional title in 15 years and advancing to the supersectional.
Tyler Enright and Nick Row got things started on the offensive side by hitting threes on back-to-back possessions to make it 6-0. A minute later, a steal by Jared Rueter resulted in a Mitch Meyer jumper on the other end, forcing Lutheran to call a timeout and bringing the enthusiastic Gibault crowd to its feet.
The Hawks continued their hot start, with Jared Rueter, Row and Meyer leading the scoring charge. Gibault led 33-14 at halftime.
Lutheran came out aggressive in the second half, and the teams traded buckets early on. When Wes Degener went to the bench after being called for his fourth foul of the game just two minutes into the half, the Crusaders took advantage and made their run to cut the deficit to 10. But the Hawks reestablished their control over the game in the fourth quarter and claimed the title.
Row finished with 19 points.
Gibault will travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday evening to play Mendon Unity for the supersectional title and a trip to state.
Read more on Friday’s win in the March 12 edition of the Republic-Times newspaper.