5 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Watch the game here
Mendon Unity downed Waterloo Gibault 67-49 to go to its first ever state final four this weekend.
The game was carried live on Quincy Journal's QJTV and a replay will be posted Wednesday morning.
JACKSONVILLE • Senior Lane Davis led four players in double figures as Mendon Unity dismantled Gibault 67-49 in the Class 1A Jacksonville Super-sectional game at the Jacksonville Bowl on Tuesday.
Unity (21-11) moves on to the state tournament and will play Mooseheart in the state semifinals at 2 p.m. Friday in Peoria at Carver Arena. The 1A championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.
Gibault ends its season at 25-9 and ends the school's streak of state champions. The Gibault baseball team took the state title last spring and the boy’s soccer team took the state championship in the fall.
The Mustangs, from a town about 20 miles north of Quincy, watched Gibault take a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter, but went on a 12-2 run to close the frame and start the second quarter. It gave them a 16-12 lead. The Hawks fought back and as the teams traded baskets to 20-20, Unity made its run -- that essentially put away the game.
The Mustangs gave itself a little cushion late in the second quarter when Dylan Schaffer and Adam Donley buried 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make it 28-20. Wes Degener, who scored a game-high 20 points, tossed in his seventh bucket of the first half to put it 28-22 at the half. It was the closest the Hawks would be the rest of the game.
“We were nervous (at the beginning),” Unity coach Keith Carothers said. “This is the first time Unity has been on this stage. We had a lot of fans, so that helped and after we made a couple of shots we settled in.”
Davis, a 6-foot-6 post player, also contributed 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. He was a load in the middle and while several Hawks players switched on him on defense none were very successful.
With Davis stalking the middle, the Mustangs guards were free to drive the lane and scored on numerous lay ups of short jumpers.
Senior Alex Blickhan had 17 points, Donley, a sophomore, added 13 points and senior Will Klusmeyer chipped in 10 points.
“Our plan was to be aggressive and attack the rim,” Blickhan said. “We wanted to make them work on defense. We felt we had a little better depth and that we could use it to our advantage.”
Meanwhile, on offense, the Hawks top-notch perimeter shooting ground to a halt. The team went 1-for-18 or less than 6-percent. In fact, the only 3-pointer made was by reserve Rick Schmersahl as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
“We saw on film that they had some really good set shooters, so we wanted to make them shoot off the dribble,” Blickhan said. “We wanted to make them jump shooters something they didn’t look comfortable doing.”
It worked, especially in the second half, as Unity continually attacked the rim and Gibault settled for outside shots.
Overall, Gibault made 22-of-59. Take away the outside failures and the team was 21-of-41 or better than 50-percent.
It was 49-34 after three quarters and Unity continually stretched the lead throughout the fourth quarter. The largest lead was 67-46 with over a minute to go when both coaches began to pull their starters.
Row had 18 points and eight rebounds for Gibault.