Columbia was able to hang with Gibault for about two and-a-half periods before the Hawks defense took over and pulled away late to win the boys hoops matchup Saturday night at Columbia High School.
It took until the 5:26 mark of the first period for the first bucket to go in, as both teams tried to feel each other out. The Hawks and Eagles both had a hard time holding onto the ball and neither could get a shot to fall early.
Gibault, coming off a tough overtime loss at Mater Dei Friday night, would settle in after getting the first two points of the game, forcing the Eagles into six turnovers en route to a 13-5 lead after one.
“It was important for us to open up a lead early on,” Gibault coach Dennis Rueter said after the game. “You don’t want to let the other team build up any confidence and maybe put a little bit of pressure on your kids because they think they can win.”Gibault’s Wes Degener attempts to block the shot of Columbia’s Korbin Farmer on Saturday night. (Greg Stanek photo)
Columbia would stay with Gibault in the second period, holding the Hawks to just 8 points. Korbin Farmer scored a basket at the buzzer for the Eagles, cutting Gibault’s lead to 21-13 at the half.
The Hawks committed 9 fouls in the first half to just 4 for the Eagles, who had a tough night at the free throw line (2-for-10 as a team).
Gibault turned up the heat on the Eagles in the third period, forcing eight Columbia turnovers to close out the period with a 12-4 run.
The end result was a 51-35 win for the Hawks.
“Columbia is a young team but you know it’s going to be a good game. It’s a rivalry game, so if you come in here relaxed ’cause you’re the favorite it could be bad,” Rueter said. “Columbia is a good team. They are very well coached, they have hung in there with a lot of people. They hung in there and made it tough for us through two and-a-half quarters and that’s to their credit.”
Wes Degener led the Hawks with 17 points. Nick Row netted 13 and Zach Neff added 10 for Gibault (12-2).
Trey Search led the Eagles with 8 points and Zachary Mathews and Korbin Farmer each added 6 for Columbia (5-7).
On Friday night, the Hawks lost just their second game of the season at the hands of a talented Mater Dei squad (10-5). Tied at 58 after regulation, Gibault was outscored 12-5 in the extra frame to suffer a 70-63 road loss.
Row led the Hawks with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting; Tyler Enright and Mitch Meyer added 12 points each.
Columbia also lost on Friday night, 51-46 on the road at Breese Central (10-4). It was a close game throughout, with the score tied at 27 at halftime.
Ryan Gudeman led the Eagles in scoring with 14 points and 5 assists; Farmer added 13 points.
Columbia took on rival Waterloo in a “Pack the Place” event at Waterloo High School on Tuesday night. Results were not known at press time.
Gibault traveled to St. Pius on Tuesday night (results not known) and will host a much anticipated matchup with Althoff on Saturday night.
Waterloo wins again
The Waterloo boys basketball team earned a big conference road win at Mascoutah on Friday night, 61-45.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 6-5 on the season heading into Tuesday’s game against Columbia.
Waterloo outscored the Indians 17-8 in the second period and never looked back from there. Tough defense by the ‘Dogs limited Mascoutah to just 38 percent shooting from the floor.
Rick Wiegand led the way in scoring for the Bulldogs with 19 points, including 8-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Shane Lenhardt added 15 points and Zach Schaab netted 13 points.
The Bulldogs are set to play another conference foe, Highland, on Friday.
Other hoops action
Dupo lost to Murphysboro on Saturday, 66-43. Brett Aldridge scored 15 points (3-for-5 from three-point range) and Joey Mirabal added 10 points for the Tigers (1-12), who hosted Hancock on Tuesday and travel to Wood River on Friday.
Valmeyer (2-11) will play at Steeleville on Friday before hosting Red Bud on Saturday.
With additional reporting by Corey Saathoff.