POLAND – Poland’s Hunter Gibson has chosen the seniors’ night to organize a big shooting match.
The senior forward hit his first six shots and scored 31 points to propel the Knights to a 67-56 men’s basketball win over Waynflete on Friday.
“Seniors’ night, all the emotion in it, but once you’re there, you don’t really think about it until the end of the first term and you think, ‘I didn’t miss a shot, but I have to keep going,” Gibson said.
Gibson, who made six 3-pointers in the game, scored 18 of his points through the first two quarters. He also played a role in Poland’s strong finish in the first half.
With just 10 seconds left in the first half and the Knights (5-4) leading 32-27, Gibson stole the ball on full-court pressing. After missing a layup, he rebounded on his own misfire and went for his second shot attempt with the countdown.
Waynflete sent the ball in half-court, but Poland’s Hayden Christner stole the pass and quickly found Joe Levesque for a lay-up that beat the half-time buzzer and gave Poland a 36 lead. -27.
“There’s a minute to two-and-a-half minutes I’d like to get back,” Waynflete coach Rich Henry said. “It was one of the minutes.”
Gibson’s huge first half came after he was recognized on the pitch before the match as one of Poland’s four seniors. VSoach Bill Flynn said the Knights celebrated senior night in mid-January due to the possibility of games being postponed or canceled in the future.
Included in Gibson’s early game scoring barrage were four 3-pointers. His third 3 put the Knights up 16-10 with 70 seconds left in the first quarter.
Waynflete (3-4), however, finished the opening period strong. Sam Ribeiro knocked down a 3-pointer and Ed Cox hit two free throws to bring the Flyers to 16-15 going into the second quarter.
The Flyers also got two 3-point shots from sophomore goaltender Nico Kirby in the first.
“I’m very proud of the way these guys played,” Henry said. “To travel as far as we have, to play a very good team on the road with a lot of very good players, I’m proud.”
Gibson continued to score in the second, collecting nine points.
“Having him open up his game and get shots that he’s comfortable with, he does a few shots and then it’s just, ‘Get out of his way,'” Flynn said. “He’s so good on offense, whether it’s deep, hoop, even a few pull-ups. He’s so diverse, and if we can spread the ball and allow him to create his offense, he’s going to put the ball in the basket. Once he’s on pace he’s unstoppable and he showed that tonight.
Levesque assisted in the second, scoring six of his 11 first-half points.
Gibson didn’t play much of the third quarter due to a foul, but Poland scored 18 points between six players. Six of those points were scored by Hunter Brackett, including a 3-pointer from the right corner after Shane Yorkey entered the lane and threw a no-look pass to Brackett, putting the Knights ahead 49-35 with 2:12 left. to play. the third.
“We just talked about it, we started moving the ball again,” Flynn said. “It was something where we felt like we were in a funk offensively. We worked in practice on the control of the offensive flow. Teams grab Hunter and block him, with the guys able to get into space and an extra pass. Particularly in the first half, and we also had a run in the third where we were really cruising and our ball movement was great. These are things that we talked about and it was great to see it.
Christner hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the quarter to give Poland a 54-42 advantage after three frames.
“The biggest positive was moving the ball around,” Gibson said. “Once we got into our flow and into our rhythm, I don’t think anyone can stop us defensively. I think as we approach our next two big games, if we do the same in attack, everything will be fine.
Gibson returned to the game to start the fourth and scored 10 of Poland’s first 12 points of the quarter. His second 3-pointer of the period extended the Knights’ lead to 60-44.
Poland’s Chance Brown, a senior guard, kept several possessions alive in the fourth quarter by picking up five offensive rebounds.
“Chance Brown was a Swiss army knife,” Flynn said. “He was everywhere. He hits open shots, is selfless and his defense was outstanding.
Waynflete senior guard Henry Hart had two interceptions in the fourth and scored seven points in the final quarter as the Flyers tried to close the gap, but the Knights survived the beatings and took the win.
Henry was happy with how his team fought at the end of the game, especially Hart.
“I’m proud of the way we fought back,” Henry said. “You can’t say enough about Henry Hart, he’s the heart of the team and I want the other guys to embrace his sense of urgency.”
Kirby scored a team-high 11 points for Waynflete. Hart and Matt Adey had nine each.
Lévesque finished with 13 points for Poland.
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