Bulldogs edge Hawks, 51-50

Waterloo’s Isaac Lohman leaps to save the ball from going out of bounds during Saturday’s rivalry hoops clash against Gibault. See more photos from the game online at republictimes.smugmug.com.

The local high school boys basketball season got off to a sizzling start, complete with a back-and-forth rivalry clash and a game-winning buzzer beater. 

Waterloo and Gibault renewed their cross-town rivalry with a Saturday night contest at Waterloo High School. 

In the season opener for both squads, the Bulldogs prevailed by the slimmest of margins, 51-50.

Waterloo got out to a 19-15 advantage after the first quarter, only to see Gibault storm back and close the first half up 33-27.

The Hawks went ice cold from the floor in the third quarter, resulting in the Bulldogs pulling ahead by the count of 46-39 entering the final frame. 

This time, it was Waterloo’s cold shooting that got Gibault back in it. In fact, the game was tied at 48-48 with about four minutes remaining in regulation. 

Gibault actually took a 50-48 lead and had the ball with just more than two minutes to go, but missed an opportunity to either run out the clock or score more.

Enter Caleb Yochum. His shot put Waterloo up 51-50 in the final minute. 

Gibault had one last attempt to tie or win the game, but a last-second shot in the lane by Kanen Augustine did not fall. 

Alex Stell, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, led Waterloo with 23 points. Yochum added 18 points. 

Gibault was led by Kaden Augustine with 18 points, followed by Gavin Kesler with 11 points. 

Waterloo played at Wesclin on Tuesday, falling 60-35. Wyatt Fink scored 11 points to lead the ‘Dogs, who play Friday at Triad and host Red Bud this coming Tuesday. 

Gibault hosts Freeburg on Wednesday, then plays this coming Tuesday at New Athens.

Columbia is off to a 4-1 start after winning all of its games in the Mascoutah-Wesclin Tip-off Tournament. 

Following wins over SIUE Charter and Nashville to open tourney play, the Eagles bested Wesclin on Friday, 58-46, to advance to the title game. 

Dylan Murphy poured in 26 points (5-of-9 from three-point range) and pulled down eight rebounds to pace the Eagles in Friday’s win. Jack Steckler added 11 points.

On Saturday, Columbia batted Collinsville in the tourney final, winning 56-53 in dramatic fashion. 

With the game tied at 53-53, the ball went to Steckler for the final shot. He nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Eagles. 

Murphy and Sam Donald each scored 15 points and Steckler scored 14 in the win. Columbia shot 57 percent from the floor as a team.

The Eagles outscored Collinsville 21-10 in the fourth quarter after Collinsville had gone on a 19-9 run in the third quarter.

Murphy is averaging 19.5 points per game this season. Donald is averaging 12.5 and Steckler is averaging nearly 12 points per game.

Columbia played Tuesday at unbeaten Triad, falling 54-39.The Eagles led 11-7 after the first quarter only to see Triad go on a 17-8 run to close out the first half. Murphy scored 20 points.

Columbia plays Friday at Wood River. 

Valmeyer opened its season with a 60-39 loss at Red Bud last Tuesday. Trent Sternberg scored 17 points for Red Bud. 

Harry Miller scored 15 points for the Pirates, with Landon Roy adding 10. 

Making his varsity debut, 6-foot-3 freshman Luke Blackwell scored two points and grabbed 11 rebounds. 

Valmeyer plays in the Valley Park Tournament this week, which started Tuesday with a 60-29 loss to St. Pius X. Blackwell led the way with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Valmeyer battles New Athens on the road this Friday night. 

Dupo opens its season Friday night at Marissa.

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