Shooting slump grounds Falcons

Shooting slump grounds Falcons

CHAMPAIGN – One had to figure it would end soon. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley scorched the nets to the tune of 28 three-pointers in three games on its way to Friday's sectional final against rival Fisher at Parkland College.

But the three-point shot was not kind to the Falcons in their 53-37 loss to the Bunnies on Friday. They connected on 1 of 14 tries from beyond the arc and shot 39 percent from the field.

"It just came down to shots we had been hitting the last couple of weeks, and they just didn't fall for us," GCMS coach Ryan Tompkins said. "It wasn't for lack of effort or lack of anything. Just give Fisher credit. They played extremely aggressive, and my hat's off to Coach (Deon) Mennenga and his team."

Prior to the game, GCMS guard Cody Birky nailed nine treys in the three-point shootout, but when the game started he couldn't regain the form that helped him advance to the super-sectional in the event. Birky hit a driving layup in the first minute of the game but missed his next eight shots from the floor. He finished with eight points on 4-of-15 shooting – missing all six three- pointers.

"I don't know what was going on," Birky said. "They didn't give me much room, and the shots I normally hit just wouldn't fall for me tonight."

The shots fell for GCMS point guard Bruce Hendricks. The 6-foot-3 junior scored a game-high 20 points.

"I thought he played aggressive," Tompkins said of Hendricks. "He got to the basket and got some good shots."

The goal for the Falcons entering the season was to win a regional title. Considering they dealt with suspensions and the death of a teammate this season, they said they can look back on reaching the Sweet 16 and be proud of what they accomplished.

"It was an exciting ride," Tompkins said. "We did a lot of things the past couple weeks a lot of people didn't think we'd do and that's what in retrospect will make this thing fun to look back on."