Hawks fall just short of regional crown - Republic-Times | News

Hawks fall just short of regional crown

By on March 1, 2017 at 9:00 am

Gibault’s Garrett Rueter (10) goes in for a contested layup late in the third quarter of Friday’s regional title game against Marquette. (Corey Saathoff photo)

The vibe was electric inside Hustedde Gymnasium on Friday night, as Catholic school rivals Gibault and Marquette locked horns for a Class 2A regional hoops title.

The full house of fans from both teams witnessed a classic small-school basketball game that went into overtime. Unfortunately for the Hawks, it was Marquette leaving Gibault’s gym with the win.

The Explorers claimed the regional plaque with a 54-48 victory, ending Gibault’s season at 22-8.

Both teams played tight defense at the start, trying to force mistakes that would lead to a run. Marquette (28-3) gained the early edge, carrying a 24-19 advantage into the halftime locker room.

A strong third quarter surge gave Gibault a 37-33 lead entering the fourth quarter, bolstered by key buckets from Trevor Davis and Garrett Rueter.

Marquette battled to tie it near the end of regulation, and Gibault failed to score after holding for the last shot in the final minute..

The Explorers dominated the extra period, outscoring the Hawks 9-3 for the regional crown.

Dismal free-throw shooting (6-for-15) doomed the Hawks in the end.

“We didn’t shoot free throws very well, made some defensive mistakes that shouldn’t have been made and I did a poor job coaching the end of regulation,” Gibault head coach Dennis Rueter said.

Trevor Davis scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Hawks. Collin Kessler, who was forced to sit much of the second half with four fouls, added 13 points and seven rebounds.

Gibault advanced to the regional final with a 64-39 win over Red Bud last Wednesday. The Hawks led 29-16 at halftime and shot 63 percent from the floor for the game.

Davis scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kessler led the way with 23 points.

Friday’s regional title game loss marked the final game for Gibault seniors Davis, Kessler, Garrett Rueter and Ryan Gool.

“Our seniors had great seasons,” Rueter said. “They replaced very good players from last year and kept the dropoff to a minimum.”

Davis averaged 17.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season and shot 57 percent from the floor.

“Trevor finishes his career as one of the top players in Gibault  history,” Rueter said.

Davis ranks fifth all-time in scoring at Gibault with 1,510 points and fourth all-time in rebounds with 879.

Kessler averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game.

“Collin was a very good low post scorer,” Rueter said.

Gool averaged seven points per game and shot 47 percent from three-point range.

“Ryan exceeded everybody’s expectations with his play as our point guard,” the coach said.

Garrett Rueter averaged 7.5 points per game this season.

“Garrett became a defensive stopper and a solid offensive threat,” the coach said.

While the loss to Marquette certainly stings, this year’s Hawks team can hang its hat on winning Coach Rueter’s 700th career game as well as the Okawville Invitational Tournament against a tough Okawville squad.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.