WATERLOO — After four timeouts in the final minute, including three by Waterloo, the Bulldogs never did get the shot they were looking for Tuesday against the Gibault Hawks.
A late turnover allowed Gibault to hang onto its one-point lead as the Hawks escaped with a 47-46 victory over their crosstown rivals.
"It's a great rivalry," said Gibault senior Mitch Meyer, whose 15 points led all scorers. "It doesn't matter really who's better sometimes or how much they're better by, it's always going to be a close game. It's going to be grind it out and playing hard defensively.
"It's going to go down to the wire just like we did tonight."
Gibault's Wes Degener scored with 1 minute, 3 seconds remaining to put the Hawks (18-6) on top 47-46.
Waterloo (14-7) had possession, then called timeouts with 31.3 seconds and 10.3 seconds remaining hoping to find an opening in the Gibault defense.
The final Waterloo timeout with 5.1 seconds remaining preceded one by Gibault, but the game finally continued.
Waterloo guard Daniel Gardner inbounded the ball, then quickly got it back in the corner. He fought through a pick and drove the baseline, but Degener stripped the ball and Tyler Enright ended up with it as time expired to clinch the win.
"They had the ball with a minute to go down one and they never did get a shot off, did they," Gibault coach Dennis Rueter said. "We guarded them pretty well for the first 50 seconds, and at the tail-end too."
Waterloo coach C.J. Cruser knew the Hawks wouldn't be giving up much inside.
"They were just sagging in on everything and they weren't going to let us have anything easy around the basket," he said. "Obviously that's what I was going for was something easy around the basket."
Cruser was also hoping for a quicker shot at the end.
"He probably should have shot it before he got too deep, because then when he got too deep you're running out of time," Cruser said. "Then their whole team tried to converge on him."
Degener finished with 12 points for Gibault and Shane Lenhardt led Waterloo with 14, with Daniel Gardner and Ryan Aycock adding 10 each for the Bulldogs.
Neither team ever gained much separation. But when Waterloo went up by five points early in the third quarter, Gibault responded with a 13-4 run that included a 3-pointer by Nick Row and two by Enright.
"Those were huge shots," Meyer said of Enright's threes. "He can make them if he shoots them. His percentage is ridiculous. He picks and chooses his shots so well, but he needs to shoot it a little bit more."
Rueter was just happy to have some offense with Waterloo playing some extremely tight defense.
"We were on the verge of being in big trouble," said Rueter, whose team trailed 26-22 at halftime, then watched Waterloo's Lenhardt scored eight straight points early in the second half. "We weathered the storm there. We got a steal and Row got a three out of it, Tyler (Enright) hit two threes.
"It was just a down to the wire game; we were about two or three mistakes or two or three shots from them of being in big, big trouble."
Gibault led by three early in the fourth quarter, but Waterloo fought back to take the lead twice on shots by Gardner and Aycock.
Gibault got off to a strong start, hitting four of its first five shots. But Waterloo heated up quickly after that thanks to a 12-3 run that put the Bulldogs on top.
Aycock sank two 3-pointers in the second quarter and Rick Wiegand added another. Gibault fought back on a pair of 3-pointers by Meyer and trailed 26-22 at halftime.
Gibault had lost two of its last three games, while Waterloo's loss to Okawville in its previous game followed up a 10-game winning streak.
"I think we locked down defensively," Meyer said. "We kept them out of the lane. They're a pretty patient team, they really wear a defense down so I think we just buckled down defensively."