Boys Basketball

Gibault scores win over Wesclin in Okawville Invitational

In a matter of less then two seconds, Gibault sophomore Trevor Davis went from goat to hero on Friday at the Okawville Boys Basketball Invitational.

Davis atoned from making a turnover with 3.4 seconds remaining to making a game-winning 15-foot jumper with less then a second remaining as Gibault edged Wesclin 64-62 at Okawville High School.

In a game which featured a combined 22 3-point field goals — 11 by both teams — it came down to two turnovers and Davis’ clutch shot that proved to be the difference.

With Gibault (12-7) working for a last shot, Davis drove the lane but was stripped of the ball with Wesclin gaining possession with 3.4 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout, the Warriors (12-6) had the inbounds pass deflected by Davis, who collected the ball, took three dribbles and made his jumper from just inside the free throw line.

“He (Davis) didn’t make a bad play. He just got in to deep and got caught with no place to go,” longtime Gibault coach Dennis Rueter said. “But to his credit he came right back when we got the steal and he stepped up and hit the shot. That’s the third time he’s won a game for us this year in the last few seconds of a game. Not bad for a sophomore.”

The win leaves Gibault at 2-0 in the round-robin event and leaves them a win away from a championship game with host Okawville. The Hawks will take on Vandalia (0-2) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Okawville (12-8) moved to 3-0 in tournament play with a 71-44 win over Madison in the secomd game on Friday.

But the story of the night was the old-fashioned shootout put on by two of the premier small school teams in the metro-east. In a game that was more like a 3-point contest at times, neither team refused to cool off. Wesclin junior Jarad Steenbergen led the Warriors with 21 points, making seven of nine from the 3-point line, while Gibault’s Jacob Rueter and Jacob Bircher had four 3-pointers each.

Leading 30-27 at halftime, Wesclin’s lead grew to 36-29 with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter on a basket by senior Justin Goff, but with the Hawks’ Zach Rueter scoring all 12 of his points in a five-minute span in the period, Gibault rallied to take a 52-50 lead.

The game stayed tight the rest of the way.

The final play made all the difference.

“We had a play set up where Jarad (Steenbergen) would have a shot coming off the screen. We just didn’t execute on the last play,” Warriors coach Brent Brede said. “It was a well played game by both teams. They (Gibault) just made one more play then we did.”

Jacob Rueter led Gibault with 18 points while Brian Deterding added 14.

Okawville 71, Madison 44: On a night when the lightning quick Trojans did everything they could to slow up Noah Frederking, senior Nick Strubhart and the rest of the Rockets blasted off.

Taking advantage of Madison’s unique box-and-1 defense on Frederking, Strubhart was unstoppable down low as he scored 21 points to lead Okawville (12-8) into the title game.

One of the top sophomores in the state, Frederking touched the basketball just four times in the first half and missed his only shot attempt. But with the 6-2 Strubhart and Shane Ganz, combining for 23 points, Okawville built a 36-29 lead at halftime.

“We’ve seen the box-and-1 several times this year already and to Noah’s (Frederking) credit, he was very poised and didn’t force anything against it,’’ Okawville coach Jon Kraus said. “I was very pleased at how the other kids stepped up tonight. It was a big confidence booster for them to come out and pick up the scoring load. I think you saw in the second half when we kept running our offense so well, that they (Madison) had to come out and play us man-to-man which opened things up a little more for Noah.”

Frederking didn’t score his first points of the night until 4:59 remained in the third quarter. But the 6-3 phenom scored 15 points in a five-minute span as Okawville broke the game open. Frederking finished with 20 points.

Ganz added 13 points for the Rockets while Brad Fuhrhop chipped in with 10. Madison (9-10) got 12 points from Jerry Haynes and 11 from Dayman Warren.