WATSEKA — Fourth-seeded Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley grabbed an early lead in the Class 2A Watseka Regional quarterfinals and held on for a 53-45 win against the fifth-seeded Warriors.
“We knew playing Watseka on their home court was going to be a challenge,” GCMS coach Ryan Tompkins said. “We had to come out focused. It was a good win for our guys.”
After Watseka tied the game at 43 with 2:35 left on a driving layup by Cole Davenport (11 points), the Falcons’ Wiley Hasty converted a three-point play to give his team a 46-43 lead and initiate a 7-0 game-clinching run.
In the second quarter, the Falcons extended a 14-12 lead with an 11-4 run that included three-pointers from Ross Royal, Drake Royal and Tyler Hinshaw. James Fairfield’s three-point play gave GCMS a 28-18 lead with 40.7 seconds left in the quarter. The Falcons led 28-20 at halftime.
"I thought we did an excellent job defensively throughout the game. Offensively, we hit enough shots early,” Tompkins said.
Watseka went on an 11-2 run to start the third quarter — which included five points from Austin Hasselbring — and took a 33-31 advantage into the fourth quarter.
“That was a tough one,” Watseka coach Anthony Videka said. “We battled back and thought we had the momentum, and then the wind was taken out of our sails. We let them come back right on us thanks to some uncharacteristic possessions on our part.”
Hasty, who battled foul trouble, led GCMS with 13 points. Ross Royal and Fairfield each added 11 points for the Falcons.
The Falcons (14-13) will face top-seeded Clifton Central in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday.