The Gibault and Okawville basketball teams locked horns twice previously this season, splitting the matchups. The Hawks won the rubber game on Friday in the Class 1A sectional final at White Hall, 48-40.
Following a cold-shooting start for both teams, Okawville seemed to have all the momentum entering the second half. Shane Ganz banked in a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Rockets a 24-19 lead heading into the locker room.
But Gibault outscored Okawville in the third quarter, 16-7, to take a 35-31 lead into the final frame. Colin Kessler provided a much-needed spark for the Hawks as leading scorer Trevor Davis got into foul trouble. Kessler finished with 11 points on the night.
Okawville had one last gasp, however, with Ganz tying the game at 37-37 with four minutes remaining on a three-point play.
But Gibault pulled it out in the end, taking the sectional crown. Senior Brian Deterding led the way for the Hawks with 22 points. Brad Fuhrhop led Okawville with 13 points.
Gibault improved to 24-9 with the win and has now won six straight entering the Jacksonville supersectional, which takes place Tuesday night.