Boys hoops teams begin taking flight

Columbia’s Jack Steckler goes up for a shot during Friday’s home win over Salem. 

Two local high school hoops teams are flying high in the early going this season, but a few others are taking their lumps. 

Columbia is off to a 7-1 start to its 2022-23 campaign, including a win Friday at home over Salem. 

Dylan Murphy, a senior who has committed to hooping at St. Leo University in Florida upon his graduation this spring, led the Eagles with 31 points in the 62-32 victory. He was 7-of-14 from three-point range.

Sam Donald, a sophomore, added 10 points, nine rebounds and six steals for Columbia, who blasted Steeleville, 64-29, on Tuesday before traveling north to face Monmouth-Roseville on Friday and Taylor Ridge Rockridge on Saturday. 

Murphy is averaging 22 points per game this season – including 54 percent from beyond the arc.

Donald is averaging 11.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and nearly three steals per game.

Gibault (6-2) won four recent games as it begins to ascend.

Last Tuesday, the Hawks won 69-42 at New Athens. Kaden Augustine scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Hudson Blank added 16 points and Kameron Hanvey contributed 14 points, five assists and four steals.

Gibault outrebounded New Athens, 33-24, and won the turnover battle, 20-6.

On Friday, the Hawks won at home against perennial small-school hoops powerhouse Pinckneyville, 59-51. Gibault outscored the Panthers 21-13 in the fourth quarter.

Augustine again led the way for the local Catholics with 15 points and five rebounds. Blank and Hanvey each scored 13 points. 

On Saturday, Gibault won 66-46 at Mehlville. The Hawks built up a 36-19 lead at halftime. 

Augustine scored 22 points and pulled down six rebounds. Gavin Kesler added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Blank scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

Gibault played Tuesday at Fox, winning 65-43, before hosting Catholic rivals Mater Dei this Friday and traveling Saturday to Father McGivney. 

Augustine is averaging 17.4 points per game, including 42 percent from three-point range. 

Kesler is averaging 12 points per game and Blank is at 11.6 points per game.

Waterloo (1-5) dropped three recent contests as it tries to build team chemistry.

Last Tuesday, the Bulldogs lost 68-60 in overtime  at home against Red Bud and former head coach Dane Walter. 

Alex Stell, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the ‘Dogs. Wyatt Fink, a senior, added 12 points and five assists.

On Friday, Waterloo lost at home to Mississippi Valley Conference foe Mascoutah, 57-48. 

Stell had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Fink also scored 17.

Waterloo played Tuesday at Freeburg, falling 61-49, hosts Civic Memorial on Friday and plays St. Vincent at Park Center on Saturday. 

Stell is averaging 13.2 points, nearly 10 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. 

Fink is averaging 12.6 points per game.

Valmeyer (2-6) lost 62-41 at Valley Park on Monday. The Pirates were just 4-for-29 from three-point range and 5-for-12 from the free-throw line.

Harry Miller scored 25 points and had five steals to lead Valmeyer.

On Friday, the Pirates picked up a thrilling home win in double overtime against Marissa, 72-69.

Landon Roy’s putback at the first overtime buzzer sent the game into a second OT.

Aiden Crossin won it at the second OT buzzer with a three-pointer.

Miller scored 23 points, followed by Crossin with 20 points and freshman Luke Blackwell with 14 points and 17 rebounds. 

Last Tuesday, Valmeyer lost 80-42 at Sparta despite 19 points from Miller and 18 points and 14 rebounds from Blackwell. 

Valmeyer hosts Steeleville this Friday. 

Miller leads the Pirates in scoring this season at nearly 19 points per game. 

Dupo (1-3) lost at home last Wednesday to Grandview, 71-63. Trey Chadduck scored 23 points and Tommy Williams added 14 points. 

Dupo played Tuesday at Mt. Olive, hosts Steeleville on Wednesday, plays Friday at New Athens and travels Tuesday to Valmeyer. 

Chadduck leads the Tigers in scoring this season at 12.5 points per game. 

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