It would be the third and final time the Gibault Hawks would go against the Metro-East Lutheran Knights this seaosn.
This time the stakes were at their highest with one moving on and the other one going home after playing in the Class 1A Bunker Hill Regional championship game.
The Hawks (20-8) upset the Lutheran Knights (25-5) by scoring a 42-38 victory to claim the regional crown.
In the previous two games, the Knights prevail. But not this time.
In the first period, each team had a myriad of defensive rebounds, eliminating each other from attaining second-chance baskets. After eight minutes of action, Gibault took a mere 12-10 lead over the Knights.
The Hawks went on a 9-0 run which was led by 6-foot-5 senior Brian Deterding, who capped off the run with a basket putting his team on top 21-12 with 3 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the first half.
Metro-East Lutheran however would not go down quietly as 6-1 senior Teddy Fifer strung together four 3’s in less than two minutes of play to knot the game at 26.
The Knights and Hawks would battles closely for the rest of the game, with no team leading by more than for points.
With Gibault leading 39-38, the Knights’ Anthony Spiller turned the ball over on a travel call. This would shift momentum back to the Hawks.
Gibault coach Dennis Reuter said the game was typical of how the two teams played this season.
“This is the third game that has came down to the wire against Metro-East” Reuter said. “We kept the ball inside and stayed away from turnovers which ultimately led us to victory.”
Metro East Lutheran coach Anthony J. Smith lamented lost opportunities.
“We didn't capitalize on key possessions,” Smith said. “Gibault is a good ballclub.”
Brian Deterding led Gibault with 18 points and Colin Kessler added 10 points. Metro-East was sparked by Teddy Fifer 21 points, including five three’s.
Gibault will travel to White Hall on Monday to square off against the No. 1 seeded Carrollton Hawks in a North Greene Sectional semifinal.