GCMS girls basketball wins 40-29 over Deer Creek-Mackinaw

GIBSON CITY -- A 40-29 victory Thursday over Deer Creek-Mackinaw extended the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls basketball team's winning streak to seven games and improved the Falcons' overall record to 19-4 and record in the Heart of Illinois Conference to 10-1.
“It’s a heck of a record for us. I’m proud of the girls," GCMS head coach Keri Dornbusch said. "The girls are playing hard. It’s fun to coach them, and I’m just really proud of the way they’re playing.”
One of GCMS's specialties through the season has been its defense, which has yielded more than 40 points just once through its current win streak. On Thursday, the Falcons did not yield a double-digit quarter to the Chiefs.
“It was definitely more of a defensive battle tonight," Dornbusch said. "Both teams were playing hard and getting their hands in the passing lanes and hands up on shots. It was a hard-nosed game. Hat’s off to (Dee-Mack) – they played a hard game, and my girls really had to work for this one, and I’m really proud of them for fighting through.”
The Falcons started Thursday's game with a 9-0 run. 
Hannah Hathaway initiated the scoring with a 3-pointer before Makenzi Bielfeldt scored on an offensive-rebound putback with 4:50 left in the first quarter. A jump shot by Hathaway was followed by a putback by Spiller before Meredith Sidwell made two free throws with 1:05 remaining in the quarter to cut Dee-Mack's deficit to 9-2.
The Chiefs' Audrey Thomann and GCMS's Claire Retherford exchanged baskets before Jessica Carithers made a halfcourt heave at the first-quarter buzzer to cut Dee-Mack's deficit to 11-7.
Bielfeldt and Dee-Mack's Emma Miller exchanged buckets before Retherford made a free throw with 6:09 left in the second quarter to make the score 14-9. 
From there, a 3-pointer by Hope McGinnes and a fastbreak layup by Carithers tied the game at 14-14 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the quarter. After Retherford scored a basket, Miller made two free throws with 3:44 left in the second quarter to tie the game again at 16-16.
The Falcons, however, ended the second quarter on a 7-0 run as Retherford scored on a putback to give GCMS an 18-16 lead with 1:35 left in the game. After Megan Moody made a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in the first half, Emily Clinton stole the ball, which led to a Bielfeldt jump shot that extended the Falcons' lead to 23-16 by halftime.
“The run we went on right before halftime kind of lifted us a little bit to keep us going and give us a little breathing room," Dornbusch said. "That definitely came at the right time for us. That was good for us.”
In the third quarter, Dee-Mack outscored GCMS 6-5 to cut its deficit to 28-22.
After Retherford made a free throw with 6:22 left in the third quarter, Sidwell made two free throws with 6:10 left in the third quarter to make the score 24-18. Bielfeldt made a basket before Carithers and Sidwell each tallied a two-point bucket to cut the Chiefs' deficit to 26-22. 
A basket by Retherford extended GCMS's lead to 28-22 as the third quarter came to an end.
“Shots definitely weren’t falling," Dornbusch said. "We weren’t even taking as many shots as we usually do, either. Dee-Mack’s a solid team. They played really well against us.”
A 3-pointer by Hathaway extended the Falcons' advantage to 31-22 before Dee-Mack went on a 7-0 run. Thomann made a basket before Kyla Simmons made a free throw with 5:17 remaining and Thomann tallied two foul shots with 4:09 left in the game and made another bucket to cut the Chiefs' deficit to 31-29.
Hathaway then made another trey to end the run and extend GCMS's lead to 34-29 with 2:29 remaining in the game.
“That 3-pointer couldn’t have come at a better time for us," Dornbusch said. "It was getting tight and things were getting a little heated. Both teams were struggling to score. Hannah hit that (trey), and that really kind of gave us that breathing room, and we were able to relax a little bit and start to get our groove back."
After Hathaway's 3-pointer, Thomann grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed shot by Carithers with 1:55 remaining. Simmons and Miller would then each miss a shot before Thomann fouled Bielfeldt with 1:34 left in the game.
From there, GCMS made 6-of-10 free-throw attempts to seal the game.
After Brown drew Sidwell's fourth foul, she made a free throw with 1:18 left in the game. Hathaway then made the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity at the charity stripe with 57.9 seconds remaining.
Thirteen seconds later, Moody made a free throw. After a defensive sequence in which Bielfeldt blocked two 3-point shot attempts, Retherford drew Miller's fifth foul before making two free throws with 22.9 seconds left in the game.
Moody tallied one more free throw with 13 seconds left in the game.
“When we went to the foul line, we hit our shots," Dornbusch said. "I thought we did pretty well, which is good to see. We definitely need to make them at the end of the game. It matters all the time, but at the end of the game, that’s when you really have to put those free throws in, and that really helped us get that win tonight.”
Retherford and Hathaway each led the Falcons in scoring with 12 points at the game’s end while Bielfeldt had eight points, Moody had five points, Spiller had two points and Brown had one point.
Junior varsity 
The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley junior varsity girls basketball team lost 25-13 Thursday to Deer Creek-Mackinaw.
Addison Kerchenfaut scored five points for the Falcons while Skyler Funk and Ashley Hyatt each had four points.
GCMS 40, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 29
DM 7   9   6   7   — 29
GCMS 11 12 5  12  — 40
Kyla Simmons 0-1-1, Olivia Elkin 0-0-0, Jessica Carithers 3-0-7, Hope McGinnes 1-0-3, Emma Miller 1-2-4, Audrey Thomann 3-2-8, Meredith Sidwell 1-4-6. Totals 9-9-29.
GCMS (19-4, 10-1)
Claire Retherford 4-4-12, Makenzi Bielfeldt 4-0-8, Hannah Hathaway 4-1-12, Rylee Tompkins 0-0-0, Megan Moody 1-2-5, Emily Clinton 0-0-0, Abby Spiller 1-0-2, Ryleigh Brown 0-1-1, Jenny Patel 0-0-0. Totals 14-8-40.
3-pointers — Dee-Mack 2 (McGinnes, Carithers). GCMS 4 (Hathaway 3, Moody).
Deer Creek-Mackinaw 25, GCMS 13
DM 8    6  7  4  — 25
GCMS 10  2  0  1  — 13
Thompson 7-0-14, Nance 0-3-3, Theison 0-0-0, Searle 0-0-0, Moore 1-1-3, Webb 1-1-3, Scott 1-0-2, Schauppaugh 0-0-0. Totals 10-5-25.
London Hixson 0-0-0, Kenedy Fanson 0-0-0, Kaylee Rogers 0-0-0, Skyler Funk 2-0-4, Kira Fuoss 0-0-0, Ashley Hyatt 2-0-4, Emma Swanson 0-0-0, Annelese Kerchenfaut 2-1-5. Totals 6-1-13.


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