PRINCETON - Castle kept its dominance rolling at the Toyota Gibson County Teamwork Classic with a 59-57 victory over Gibson Southern in boys high school basketball action.
The victory marks the third straight championship for the Knights.
It marks the third time in tournament history that two teams from the same school walked away with championships. Earlier in the session, Castle’s girl's basketball team knocked off Gibson Southern’s girls to claim the championship.
North Knox swept the competition in 2001 and Gibson Southern did the same the following year.
The Titans came out and scored the first five points of the game. Nicholas Maurer opened it up with a basket in the paint. After a defensive stop, Alex Martin drained a 3 for a quick 5-0 lead.
Castle responded with an 11-2 run and led 11-7 when Maurer completed a basket and was fouled in the process. Maurer hit the free throw as the Titans trailed 11-10 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
Zach Messinger closed the quarter with a free throw to give the Knights a 12-10 lead at the end of one quarter.
Gibson Southern opened the second quarter by scoring the first four points to lead, 14-12.
The next eight points came from the free throw line as Castle built a 19-15 lead before Alex Hemenway pulled down a defensive rebound and raced coast to coast for the layup and a 21-15 lead forcing a timeout from the Titans with 2:17 to play in the first half.
After the timeout Castle’s Jace Stieler drove to the rim and scored to extend Castle’s lead to 2:17 to play in the second quarter.
It was part of a 9-0 run by the Knights that was finally broken up by a free throw from Andrew Smith with under a minute left in the half.
Smith’s free throw was the last points of the first half as Castle led 23-16 at the break.
Castle opened it up in the third quarter. The Knights used a 10-2 run to extend its advantage, 35-20, with 4:24 left in the third.
Gibson Southern used a 7-0 run behind an offensive rebound and putback from Maurer, a jumper from Martin and a 3 from Smith as the Titans trailed 35-27 with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Wes Obermeier came alive in the fourth quarter going on a 8-2 run on his own as the Titans trailed 44-37 with 5:36 left in the game.
Gibson Southern had the deficit down to 47-44 after Mauer competed a 3-point play with 3:41 left in regulation.
Maurer hit a free throw but missed the second. Castle came away with the loose ball and managed a transition 3 from Jace Stieler to give the Knights a 54-46 lead.
With 67 seconds left, Gibson Southern had the Castle lead down to 54-50 after an uncontested layup from Obermeier.
Martin - having returned from a uniform change to No. 4 after getting blood on his No. 5 jersey - knocked down a 3 with 33 seconds as the Titans trailed 57-54.
With a four-point lead Castle guarded the 3 hard and forced Gibson Southern into a tough shot.
Toward the end, Smith knocked down a 3 to make it 59-57 but the Titans were unable to call a timeout as time expired.
Maurer led the Titans with 25 points. Hemenway finished with 18 points.