Down the stretch they come

Gibault’s Gavin Kesler dishes a pass under the rim to teammate Peyton Schaefer during Saturday’s home win over Red Bud. See more photos online at republictimes.smugmug.com. (PAUL BAILLARGEON photo)

The high school boys basketball regular season is in the stretch run, with local teams trying to hit that extra gear ahead of the playoffs.

Gibault (15-11) won a close contest at home against a feisty Red Bud squad on Saturday night, 43-40. The game was tied after three quarters. Kanen Augustine led the Hawks with 15 points, followed by fellow senior Gavin Kesler with 13 points. 

Gibault played Tuesday at Valmeyer, posting a 49-37 win.

The Hawks travel Saturday to Okawville and then host Granite City this coming Tuesday. 

Kesler is averaging 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the season. 

Augustine is averaging 14.5 points and nearly two steals per contest.

Waterloo (14-11) followed the excitement of last Tuesday’s rivalry win at home over Columbia with two losses. 

Rodrigo Lopez Tercero led the ‘Dogs with 18 points in the 53-49 win, with Caleb Yochum scoring 16 and Alex Stell adding 14 points and 11 rebounds. 

On Friday, Waterloo lost 40-32 at home to Mascoutah. The highlight of the night for the ‘Dogs junior Alex Stell notching his 1,000th career point. 

On Saturday, Waterloo lost 45-30 at Pinckneyville. 

Stell is averaging nearly 17 points and 10 rebounds per game this season for the Bulldogs. Yochum and Tercero Lopez are averaging 12 points per game for the ‘Dogs, who play Friday at Civic Memorial and Tuesday at Edwardsville. 

Columbia (18-6) bounced back from the bump in the road last Tuesday at Waterloo to pick up a 64-32 win at home against Salem. The Eagles led 23-12 after one quarter and 35-19 at halftime. 

Sam Donald – who won an online poll at prephoops.com for Mid-Season Junior Breakout Player of the Year in Illinois – led Columbia with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Brody Landgraf added 15 points.

On Saturday, Columbia lost a tight contest at big school Belleville West, 50-47. Micah James scored 13 and Donald added 12 points for the Eagles. 

Columbia hosts Civic Memorial on Wednesday, then battles Bloomington Central Catholic this Friday at the O’Fallon Shootout. On Tuesday, the Eagles battle Cahokia Conference rival Breese Central. 

Donald is averaging nearly 20 points per game to go along with eight rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest on the season.

Landgraf is averaging 11.1 points and six rebounds per game. 

Valmeyer (8-15) had won two straight prior to Tuesday’s loss at home to Gibault.  

On Friday, the Pirates pulled out a 44-39 win over Marissa. Aiden Crossin led the way with 20 points, followed by Luke Blackwell with six points and 11 rebounds for Valmeyer. 

On Thursday, Valmeyer won 54-41 over Maryville Christian. 

Landon Roy poured in 16 points. Tanner Friedrich and Blackwell each scored 12 points, with Blackwell also pulling down 16 rebounds. 

Crossin is averaging 17.1 points per game this season. Roy is averaging 13.2 points and 4.5 assists per game. Blackwell is averaging 8.1 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game for the Pirates, who host Steeleville on Friday and play Monday at Hancock. 

Dupo (0-19) dropped two recent games. 

On Monday, the Tigers lost 63-32 at DuBourg. Kaden Scheppelman scored 15 points and Keith West scored 14 points for Dupo. 

On Friday, it was a 65-42 loss for the Tigers. Scheppelman again led the way with 21 points – including five three-pointers.

Dupo plays Thursday at Maryville Christian and Friday at New Athens before hosting Sparta this coming Monday. 

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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.
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