Regular season winding down for boys hoops

Valmeyer’s Eric Smith shoots against Marissa at home on Friday. Smith scored 9 points in a Pirates win. (Alan Dooley photo)

Area high school boys basketball teams were in action last week, taking on tough competitors as the regular season reaches its stretch run.

The big showdown, a cross-town game between Gibault and Waterloo, took place Tuesday night, with Gibault squeaking past Waterloo in a one-point finish, 47-46.

The Hawks entered the home game against the ‘Dogs with a 17- 6 record, having defeated Pinckneyville on Saturday night, 51-32, following losses to Triad last Wednesday and Okawville on Friday.

Against Okawville, Gibault lost 43-33 despite 20 points from Wes Degener. The Hawks went 0-for-13 from three-point range against a tough Okawville defense.

Columbia’s Drew Huebner battles a Breese Central player for a rebound Friday night. Huebner scored 5 points in the home loss. (John Spytek photo)

Gibault bounced back against Pinckneyville, building a 13-point halftime lead and never looking back. Balanced scoring from Nick Row (12 points), Degener (11 points) and Mitch Meyer (11 points) paced the Hawks offensive attack.

Waterloo, meanwhile, ran its winning streak to 10 games with a thrilling overtime victory over conference foe Triad on Friday, 45- 44. Shane Lenhardt led the way in scoring with 11 points. With the win, Waterloo sits at 5-1 in the Mississippi Valley Conference heading into Friday’s conference tilt at Highland.

The streak ended Saturday, as Waterloo (14-6) fell to the same good Okawville squad that took down the Hawks the night before, losing 37-34. The ‘Dogs fell behind by seven points at halftime and just couldn’t recover. Lenhardt again led the team with 11 points.

Coach CJ Cruser said his team seemed to have been playing tight during the streak, “playing not to lose” rather than going out and winning the game.

“The streak is over, and I feel the kids will get back to playing without pressure and I think we can play free and easy again,” he said.

In other local hoops action, Valmeyer picked up its sixth win of the season Friday night in front of a large home crowd, toppling the Marissa Meteors, 63-41. Griffin Seidler led the way with 17 points for the Pirates. Matt Hemenway chipped in with 11 points.

The Pirates play at Dupo on Friday night and host rival New Athens on Saturday night.

After falling to Civic Memorial last Wednesday, 68-40, the Columbia Eagles tried their best to compete with a tough Breese Central team Friday at home minus one of their leading scorers, injured starter Korbin Farmer.

Trailing by 12 at the half, the Eagles fought back to make a game of it. The Cougars prevailed, 71-62. Ryan Gudeman led the way for Columbia with 17 points.

Columbia hosts Carlyle on Friday night.

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