FISHER — The Fisher Bunnies and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Falcons boys’ basketball teams met in front of a near-capacity crowd last Tuesday night.
The Falcons were able to claw their way to a 70-56 win in the rivalry game.
GCMS head coach Ryan Tompkins said the small-town rivalry is special.
“It is an electric atmosphere any time the two teams play in whatever sport it is,” Tompkins said. “We knew this would be a tough place to play, but our guys played with a lot of poise and energy on the defensive end.”
Braden Roesch put the Falcons on his back with 28 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Roesch’s first-half scoring performance helped GCMS to a 30-19 halftime lead.
The Falcons pushed the lead on the back of a big second quarter when GCMS outscored the hosts 16-7.
Carson Brozenec had 11 points in the first quarter, which kept the Bunnies in the game early.
Tompkins made the call to switch to a box-and-one defense in the second quarter to slow down Brozenec, who only had seven points the rest of the game.
“That was in our game plan, that if he got going we would have to do some things differently, and our guys did an excellent job executing,” Tompkins said.
GCMS pulled away in the third quarter with a 19-11 advantage in the first eight minutes of the second half. That run gave the Falcons a 49-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Will Delaney would not let his Bunnies go away lightly, scoring 13 of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Fisher cut the Falcons’ lead to 11 on multiple occasions but could not string together enough stops to complete the comeback. The Falcons’ Cade Elliot was part of the problem for the Bunnies as he poured in seven of his 18 points in the final eight minutes.
Tompkins said it was a big win for a team that has started slow following a third-place finish in last year’s Class 2A state tournament.
“We are still learning; we got a lot of guys who are learning on the fly,” Tompkins said. “We thought as a program we had a great tournament down in Monticello. We were only able to get one win down there, but I thought we used that to get ourselves ready for tonight, and I thought the guys came out and played well.”
GCMS improved to 4-8 on the season, while Fisher fell to 3-13.