Gibault was looking for a test coming into the final regular season stretch before the postseason and they got just that last week.
The Hawks boys basketball team (22-6) traveled to Alton-Marquette (19-7) last Wednesday. They previously lost to the Explorers in one of the most exciting games of the season in the Freeburg/Columbia Holiday Tournament by just three points. But it was a little more difficult for the Hawks to play on turf this time.
“(Marquette) got off to a really good start,” Gibault boys basketball coach Dennis Rueter said. “It was their senior night and they came out with a lot of energy.”
Before Gibault knew it, Marquette was up, 29-17, at halftime — a lead so big Gibault could never catch up.
“We never really could get into the position to threaten them,” Rueter said.
The Explorers shot 55 percent from the field in comparison to Gibault’s 42 percent. The Hawks allowed Marquette’s Deion Lavender 23 points on the night. Sam Toal led the Hawks with 11 points and seven rebounds against the Explorers. Nick Row had 10 points and four assists.
Friday, Gibault had the chance to return the favor on their senior night against St. Pius X (15-9). But came out a little flat.
“I don’t think we were as focused coming out as we needed to be,” Rueter said, explaining the five-point deficit going to the locker room at halftime.
The second half was a different story for Gibault, who came out hot making the first 15 points of the third quarter. Gibault would go on to top St. Pius X, 61-53.
Also stepping it up in the latter half of the game, Hawks guard Matt Schreder ended his senior night with 28 points.
“It was kind of a quiet 28 points,” Rueter explained, stating that Schreder’s near-30 point game flew a little under the radar.
Adding to Gibault’s 50 percent shooting from the field, Nick Row put up 14 points on the night with six assists and six rebounds. Sam Toal had his second double-digit game in a row, with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“(Toal) and Jake Weiler have kind of offensively been more of a factor since Wes (Degener) has been out,” Rueter said.
Gibault’s bigs will be a major factor, according to Rueter, in the 1A Valmeyer Regional game against No. 4 seeded Lebanon Wednesday.
No. 1 seeded Gibault’s 6’8’ Weiler and 6’5.5” Toal will have to match up against the Greyhounds’ 6’5” Zach Schoenfeld and 6’3” Mason Christ.
The results of the game were not available by press time but can be found at RepublicTimes.net/sports.
In other regional news…
No. 5 seeded Red Bud (5-25) advanced to the Sparta Regional Semifinals, topping No. 4 seeded DuQuoin, 30-22, in Monday’s play-in game. The Musketeers faced the regional’s No. 1 seeded Nashville Wednesday. Results were not available by press time but can be found at RepublicTimes.net/sports.
Dupo’s season came to an end Monday night in the 2A Breese Central Regional as the No. 5 seed taking on the No. 4 seeded Wesclin Warriors.
The Tigers (8-18) fell, 67-48, to the Warriors (10-18).
Jason Meagher led the Tigers with 13 points on the night, while Jimmy Dickerson had 12 points and Matt McDonald had eight.
Gibault will play in the 1A Valmeyer Regional semifinal game tonight against Lebanon at 6 p.m.