BREESE — Junior Zach Deiters missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but he nailed a key 3 at the start of overtime.
Deiters was one of five Mater Dei players to score in double figures as the Knights beat the Gibault Hawks 70-63 in overtime on Friday night.
"The first one I really thought about, but the second one, I knew I had to make up for it," said Deiters, who scored six of his 11 points in overtime. "I figured after that, 'Let's just let it fly and see what happens."'
Deiters' 3 and a basket by Ben Lampe off a drive put the Knights in control in overtime.
"That was killer there," Gibault coach Dennis Rueter said of Deiters' 3-pointer. "That was difficult to stomach when he hits that. That was a big shot, no doubt."
A two-handed dunk by Eric Vanderloo gave the Knights a 67-61 cushion and brought the crowd to their feet with 45 seconds remaining in overtime.
The victory improved the Knights to 8-6 and erased the bad taste of a disappointing performance in the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament.
Lampe led the Knights with 15 points. Vaderloo had 13 points, Zach Haake joined Deiters with 11 points and Nolan Gerling had 10.
"We talk all the time that if you don't have three or four guys in double figures it's tough to win in this area because teams have three or four guys who are going to score double figures," Mater Dei coach Ron Schadegg said. "I'm just really pleased with our effort. We played smart, we played hard and we really shared the ball and made things happen when they needed to happen."
The loss dropped the Hawks to 11-2. They were led by Nick Row with 19 points, Wes Degener had 16 points and Mitch Meyer and Tyler Enright with 12.
The Knights' size -- they go 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5, 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-8 -- made it difficult for the Hawks, whose tallest starter is 6-foot-2.
"If they can catch and finish in there, and we can make perimeter shots, we have the potential to be a pretty decent basketball team," Schadegg said. "We definitely have to utilize the size advantage because in this area I think we have more size than anybody right now."
The Knights led by seven points after two free throws by Haake with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks fought back to tie it at 58-58 on a short baseline jumper by Row with 1:03 to go.
"We turned them over a few times and that's obviously what we have to do," Rueter said of his team's fourth-quarter comeback. "We turned them over and had things going our way, but we couldn't quite get the win in regulation and it turned on us in the overtime.
"I think we maybe were fatigued at that point of time because we'd expended an awful lot of energy to come back. And you have to play twice as hard when the other team is twice as big. I think we were worn out just a little bit."
The Knights ran down the clock to 39 seconds before calling a time near the end of regulation. They then ran the clock down for one last shot, and Deiters ended up taking a long 3 from the top of the key that hit short off the rim at the buzzer.
"Brendan Timmermann was supposed to take that to the hole, but he got stopped," Deiters said. "Great defense. We were just looking for the open shot."
The Knights dominated the overtime, outscoring the Hawks 12-3 to go up 70-61 with 16 seconds remaining.
"It really settles us so we don't have to worry about catching up the whole time and being on our toes," Deiters said of grabbing a quick lead in overtime. "It's always more comfortable to have the lead."
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.