BOONVILLE - Trying to avenge a 61-49 regular season loss, Gibson Southern installed a new game plan, but in the end, fell to 3A No. 5 Evansville Memorial 49-30 in the IHSAA Sectional at Boonville Friday night.
The Titans (11-12) won the opening tip, and held the ball for nearly four minutes, until turning it over. This trend continued for the better part of three quarters, keeping the score low, and Gibson Southern within striking distance, before the Tigers (20-4) knocked down their last 10 shots of the game to pull away for the win.
"We were executing exactly what we wanted," Gibson Southern coach Kyle Runyan said. "They couldn't get in a rhythm offensively, and that's what we wanted. It worked and then we just got out of sync there."
After Andrew Smith hit a 3-pointer for the Titans to make it 22-20 in favor of the Tigers with 1:25 left in the third quarter, Evansville Memorial ended the period on a 5-0 run to build its' biggest lead of the night. Sam DeVault made a layup, and Branson Combs nailed a triple to end the quarter.
Gibson Southern missed its' first four shots in the fourth quarter, and watched the Tigers open the period on an 11-0 run to build an 18-point lead. Dylan Penn hit a pair of free throws, and added another bucket for Evansville Memorial. The senior led all scorers with 15 points.
"It's frustrating the way it ended there," Runyan said.
It was no secret what the Titans were trying to do early on, and it worked effectively. After Dawson Witte hit a 3-pointer to give Gibson Southern a 7-5 lead early in the second quarter, Wes Obermeier got three good looks inside, and converted buckets.
Evansville Memorial still took a lead into the half though, at 15-13, and in the end got going offensively, while the Titans struggled to convert baskets down the stretch.
"I give the kids a ton of credit," Runyan said. "They bought into it this week. We had four really good days of practice, and that's why I felt really good about going into this, and we were there."
Obermeier led Gibson Southern with 16, while Witte had eight.
The Titans season is over, while the Tigers look to knock off Evansville Bosse in the sectional final.