After being in offensive hibernation much of the game Friday, the Mater Dei Knights woke up just in time.
Noah Gerdes scored 22 of Mater Dei’s 42 points, including the game-winning shot with seven seconds remaining in overtime, as the Knights edged Gibault 42-40.
Gerdes scored only six of those points in the first half, but it still represented half of his team’s halftime total as the Knights (8-4) found themselves trailing 20-12 after sinking only four of 13 shots.
“He’s got to be a guy we rely on offensively,” Mater Dei coach Ron Schadegg said of Gerdes, who was averaging 9.1 points before Friday. “We’ve been challenging him here lately to just be a little bit more assertive and aggressive. He stepped up to the challenge and made some plays tonight. That was a huge help for us.”
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Gerdes heated up in the second half, helping key an 11-2 run by the Knights that helped chop down Gibault’s 13-point lead early in the third quarter.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Gerdes gave the Knights their first lead of the night at 40-38 late in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks tied it, and the game rolled into overtime.
Both teams combined to miss their first six shots until Gerdes broke free underneath and hit the game-winner. An over-and-back call on Gibault clinched the win for the Knights.
We’ve been challenging him here lately to just be a little bit more assertive and aggressive. He stepped up to the challenge and made some plays tonight. That was a huge help for us.
Mater Dei coach Ron Schadegg on Noah Gerdes
“I had to curl-cut around and had an open finish,” Gerdes said of the winning shot.
“Coach just said to try to get the ball inside more. They got a few touches in there, and then it opened up the outside for me. I hit a few shots and was able to get inside and drive and finish.
“We were down the whole game. We just had to find a rhythm and find a way to make some shots — and (we) made it happen.”
Schadegg challenged his team late in the third quarter when they were still down by nine points.
“We said there’s nothing else we can do,” Schadegg told his squad. “If you want to win the game, you’ve guys got to go out and do something to make it happen. They went out there and did the best they could, and it was good enough tonight.”
Mater Dei also got six points each from Nolan Robben and Mason Toennies. Gibault got 14 points from Trevor Davis and 10 each from Ryan Gool and Collin Kessler.
Coach just said to try to get the ball inside more. They got a few touches in there, and then it opened up the outside for me. I hit a few shots and was able to get inside and drive and finish.
Mater Dei’s Noah Gerdes
Schadegg wasn’t happy with his team’s play at the Mater Dei Christmas Tournament, where the Knights went 3-2 with losses to Nashville and Okawville.
“There comes a point where the x’s and o’s have got nothing to do with it,” Schadegg said. “That’s kind of where we’re at. We did a lot of good things throughout the game at times I thought, but right now it’s down to a group of guys getting out there and competing as a team — refusing to let things slip away, refusing to lose.”
Playing at home, the Hawks were unable to protect two 13-point leads early in the third quarter and a 34-25 margin heading to the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know if we had it under control, but obviously we had things going our way,” Rueter said. “We’d weathered the third-quarter storm and got it back up to nine when they made some mistakes late in the third quarter.
“I thought that was really costly for them, but then they came out and got the first five points of the fourth quarter, and then it was anybody’s game.”