Hawks open Duster Thomas Hoops Classic with wins

Gibault’s Jacob Bircher dribbles the ball up the court against Pinckneyville earlier this month. (John Spytek photo)

The Gibault boys basketball team opened play Friday morning in the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic at Pinckneyville High School, and ran into a tough opponent in Chester.

The Hawks struggled to get into a rhythm for most of the game but won a thrilling back-and-forth contest, 43-42. Sophomore Trevor Davis hit the game-winning shot as the buzzer sounded to give his team the win.

Gibault didn’t have nearly as much trouble in their second game of the day, as the Hawks rolled past Benton on Friday night, 47-32. Brian Deterding led the way, scoring 20 points. Davis chipped in 12 more.

Gibault jumped out to an early lead against Benton and never looked back. The Hawks led by as many as nine points in the opening minutes, but a steal and layup in the closing seconds of the first quarter allowed Benton to get within six after one.

Neither team could hit a shot at the beginning of the second quarter. Nearly three minutes passed before the Rangers scored the first bucket of the quarter, cutting Gibault’s lead to 14-11. The Hawks responded with layups from Deterding and Davis, and Jacob Rueter drained a three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to give his team a 23-16 lead heading into the locker room.

The Hawks broke the game wide open in the third quarter, scoring the first nine points of the second half to build an insurmountable lead. Deterding was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the second half. The Hawks kept feeding their big man the ball, and the junior center out-muscled defenders to help his team take a 42-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

The final quarter featured little action, as Gibault cruised to a 15-point victory. The Hawks play tourney host Pinckneyville at noon on Saturday in the tourney semifinals. The Hawks dropped their home opener to Pinckneyville earlier this month.

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