Familiar opponents squared off Friday for the Class 1A North Greene Sectional championship and the Gibault Hawks knocked off Okawville for the second time in three games this season with a 48-40 victory.
Gibault (24-9) moves on to the Jacksonville Super-Sectional and will face Liberty at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Jacksonville Bowl.
The Hawks exploited the Rockets (28-5) with a strong inside game led by 22 points by senior Brian Deterding and 11 from Collin Kessler. Trevor Davis and Jacob Rueter added six points each.
Okawville junior star Noah Frederking was limited to eight points while Brad Fuhrhop led the Rockets with 13 and Shane Ganz had 12.
“We knew coming in we had a 50/50 shot to win,” Deterding said. “It took a lot to stop Frederking but in the end it worked out in our favor.”
Both teams had beaten each other earlier season, the most recent being the Rockets’ 59-37 victory.
Gibault knew the key to victory would be to shut down Frederking, which is exactly what they did to the junior guard averaging more than 20 points.
“We wanted to force Frederking to guard,” Gibault Coach Dennis Rueter said. “That way he wouldn’t be as much as an offensive force, which I think we did quite well”.
It was a tough, hard-nosed defensive showdown that saw little scoring as the two teams collided play after play. In the end it was the Hawks that stole the show and ultimately led them to the sectional championship.
Gibault started off red-hot with a 6-0 run on three straight baskets, two by Davis and one by Deterding. Davis also managed to come up with six defensive rebounds in the first quarter.
An 8-6 Gibault lead after one quarter quickly turned into an Okawville comeback asRockets’ sophomore Caleb Frederking tied it 10-10.
The Rockets strung together six quick points in the second quarter. Noah Frederking would go inside for a basket followed by a 3-pointer at the buzzer by senior Alec Wisneski that came after a Gibault turnover.
Gibault would put together a pair of 6-0 runs to regain the lead.
“The defense was really good as a whole,” Coach Rueter said. “We stayed inside and pressured them early.”
Okawville had been ranked among the state’s top 1A teams all season.
“We lost to a very good basketball team. We fell a little bit short of our goals,” Okawville coach Jon Kraus said. “It would have been nice if the horn didn’t go off on that 6-0 run to end the second We just didn’t shoot well enough and you have to if you’re going to beat a team like Gibault.”
Gibault will take on the Liberty Eagles on Tuesday at the 1A Jacksonville Super-Sectional at the Jacksonville Bowl.