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GIBSON CITY – The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley senior threesome could not quite go out a winner in their final game at their home gymnasium.
Ridgeview spoiled Senior Night by defeating the Falcons 46-36.
The three seniors initiated GCMS’s scoring as Reese Simpson and Ben Eads each made a field goal and Nick Retherford sank two free throws to give their team an early 6-4 lead.
From there, however, Ridgeview (18-6) took the 7-6 lead with a Brock Heimer 3-pointer and never looked back. Josh Weier scored eight first-quarter points to help the Mustangs end the quarter up 11-9.
Ridgeview started the second quarter with a 6-2 run to go up 17-11 before a Retherford 3-pointer and an Axel Doran trey – which was set up by a pass in the lane by Simpson – tied the game at 17-17.
The Mustangs responded with a 7-0 run – including a Trey McCormick field goal in the final seconds of the first half – to go into halftime leading 24-17.
Ridgeview led for more than three quarters of the game, but never by a larger margin than eight points.
“I thought our kids played with emotion, played hard,” GCMS head coach Ryan Tompkins said. “That’s the type of effort that we need on a night-in, night-out basis. If we continue to play with that energy and emotion, good things are going to happen to us. It was a hard-fought one. Ridgeview’s a very good team. We’ve just got to get back to work on Monday.”
The Falcons (7-15, 1-9 Heart of Illinois Conference) clamped down on defense in the third quarter, holding Ridgeview to eight points. Meanwhile, Ben Eads scored a field goal and made two free throws, each scoring transaction cutting GCMS’s deficit to two points at 28-26 and 30-28 before Ridgeview ended the third quarter leading 32-28.
For the Mustangs, Weier scored six of Ridgeview’s eight third-quarter points.
In the fourth quarter, Wiley Hasty scored seven of the Falcons’ eight points, including a three-point play with 1:05 remaining to make the score 41-36 in favor of the Mustangs.
After missing game action for a week due to a broken finger, Hasty had the team high for GCMS, scoring 13 points.
“It’s good to have him back,” Tompkins said. “He starting to get his legs back and starting to play.”
Thanks in part to Hasty’s scoring prowess, the Falcons cut Ridgeview’s lead to two on two different instances, making the score 32-30 and 35-33.
However, the Mustangs put the game away with an 11-3 run that included 8-of-8 free-throw shooting from Trevor McIntosh.
“We were fouling, trying to get the ball back,” Tompkins said. “They made their share of (free throws).”
Eads and Retherford each finished the game with seven points while Simpson contributed three for their Senior Night.
“The seniors played well. They played like you want them to at the end of season on their home floor. Other than getting a win, I couldn’t be happier with the way they played on Senior Night.”
Gene Everett, a former wrestling head coach, was one of 25 former teachers for Gibson City or Melvin-Sibley High School –or a combined effort of the two school districts – honored during halftime of Friday’s game.
Everett was Gibson City’s wrestling coach for 25 years and was involved with program for about 35 years before retiring the whistle in 2002.
Everett was honored at both Friday’s game and the GCMS/Fisher wrestling Senior Night meet held Tuesday, Jan. 15. He said he is thankful for the support he has received a decade after his departure from the wrestling sidelines.
“It feels good, Everett said. “I’m somewhat overwhelmed by it, actually. I didn’t expect to be honored because I just did my job, but it’s nice. Very nice.”
Everett also said he has liked the progress GCMS/Fisher’s wrestling team has made in the past decade.
“I think we’ve built a good program here,” Everett said. “I think it has gotten better and more stabilized. I think it has made good progress.”
Tompkins said he liked the ceremony put together for the LEGENDS.
“It was absolutely awesome,” Tompkins said. “It’s great that the community supported those guys like they did. That’s a lot of years of experience out there.”
The following week will be a preview of what GCMS will face come postseason time.
The Falcons will travel to Watseka for a game starting at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and head east on IL-9 to face its Ford County foe in Paxton-Buckley-Loda at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.
As the No. 5 seed in the Class 2A Clifton Central Regional, GCMS will play against the No. 4-seeded Panthers in the first round at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. The regular season matchup against Watseka could be a preview of the regional championship game.
“We’ve got to be ready to play,” Tompkins said. “They’re two very good teams out of the Sangamon Valley (Conference).”
Ridgeview 46, GCMS 36
Trevor McInthsh 1-8-10, Josh Weier 9-0-18, Brock Heimer 3-2-8, Cory Winterland 1-0-2, Matt Barnes 2-0-6, Trey McCormick 1-0-2, Will Weber 0-0-0, Treavor Taylor 0-0-0. Totals 17-9-46.
GCMS (7-15, 1-9)
Drake Royal 0-0-0, Nick Retherford 2-2-7, T.J. Roesch 0-0-0, Ross Royal 0-0-0, Ben Eads 2-3-7, Reese Simpson 1-1-3, Axel Doran 2-0-6, Wiley Hasty 4-5-13. Totals 11-11-36.
RIDG 11 13 8 14 -- 46
GCMS 9 8 11 8 -- 36
3-pointers – Ridgeview 3 (Barnes 2, Heimer). GCMS 3 (Doran 2, Retherford).
CLIFTON CENTRAL REGIONAL
TUESDAY, Feb. 19
Game 1 – No. 4 PBL vs. No. 5 GCMS, 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, Feb 20
Game 2 – No. 1 Clifton Central vs. Winner Game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 3 – No. 2 Momence vs. Watseka, 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, Feb. 22
Game 4 – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7:30 p.m.
GILMAN IROQUOIS WEST REGIONAL
MONDAY, Feb. 18
Game 1 – No. 4 Donovan vs. No. 5 Grant Park, 7:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, Feb. 19
Game 2 – No. 2 Tri-Point vs. No. 7 Christ Lutheran, 6 p.m.
Game 3 – No. 3 Iroquois West vs. No. 6 Gardner-South Wilmington, 8 p.m.
THURSDAY, Feb. 21
Game 4 – No. 1 St. Anne vs. Winner Game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, Feb. 22
Game 6 – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:30 p.m.