GIBSON CITY -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls basketball team won 47-35 over Blue Ridge on Thursday.
“I’m proud of the girls," GCMS head coach Keri Dornbusch said. "They gutted it out and played hard. It was a physical game. I’m proud of them for the way they just kind of kept going and kept at it. They didn’t get frustrated and they just tried to keep working within the system.”
The Falcons (4-7) outscored Blue Ridge 15-4 in the first quarter as Kennedy Fanson, Hannah Hathaway and Emily Clinton each made a 3-pointer during the quarter for GCMS. Clinton tallied two free throws as well while Abby Spiller made a couple of two-point baskets.
From there, GCMS would be held to single-digit scoring efforts in the second and third quarters as Blue Ridge outscored the Falcons 12-9 in the second quarter to cut its deficit to 24-16 by halftime. Hathaway made a 3-pointer during the second quarter while Hailey Ferguson, Emily Clinton and Abby Spiller each scored two points.
The Falcons outscored Blue Ridge 8-7 in the third quarter as a 3-pointer by Rylee Tompkins and two field goals by Spiller extended GCMS's lead to 31-19 before baskets by the Knights' Jenna Mozingo and Meah Carter cut their team's deficit to 31-23. A free throw by Clinton with 8.5 seconds left in the third quarter made the score 32-23 as the quarter came to an end.
“They’re streaky sometimes. Some shots will fall. Some won’t," Dornbusch said. "(The score) was lower than we’d like, but we still got enough to win. That’s the main point. We got the win.”
A basket by Mozingo cut Blue Ridge's deficit to 32-25 before a 3-pointer by Clinton extended GCMS's lead to 35-25 with 6:17 remaining in the game.
Jaclyn Pearl tallied a basket for the Knights before Clinton scored on a driving layup and Tompkins tallied a free throw with 4:11 left in the game to extend the Falcons' advantage to 38-27.
Mozingo made another basket before Tompkins drew another foul and made two more shots from the charity stripe to make the score 40-29. Mozingo and Tompkins exchanged buckets to make it 42-31 before two free throws by Clinton extended GCMS's lead to 44-31 with 1:21 remaining.
Pearl made two free throws before Spiller drained two free throws with 41.4 seconds remaining and Clinton tallied another foul shot 24 seconds later to extend the Falcons' lead to 47-33. Pearl made a basket to conclude the scoring.
Clinton and Spiller each finished the game in double figures with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Tompkins had eight points while Hathaway had six points, Fanson had three points and Ferguson had two points.
Both teams had at least one reason to be exhausted after Thursday's game as GCMS players had final exams in school earlier that day.
“I think coming out here, they were running some of that off, but it was good," Dornbusch said. "They played hard.”
Despite the absence of Ryleigh Brown, who was out due to illness, the Falcons had a noticeable depth advantage as Blue Ridge — which is coached by Mindy Whitehouse, who is Dornbusch's predecessor as GCMS coach — entered the game with only six players listed in its scorebook for the varsity game.
“Everybody played hard. Hat’s off to them — they played hard all game," Dornbusch said. "They really showed that they’re a hard-working them. They’ve got their stamina. They’ve got to have that endurance, and they’ve shown that they can. Early in the year, it’s going to play a factor, but come the end of the year, they’re going to be in such good shape. They’re going to be able to run the whole game. Even now, they’re doing a great job.”
The Falcons will compete in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla, starting at 11:30 a.m. next Thursday against Tuscola. They will face Monticello at 6 p.m. later that Thursday before playing at 3:30 p.m. the following Friday against Stark County.
“It’s always fun in Monticello," Dornbusch said. "I’m just hoping we don’t have to drive in snow.”
GCMS 47, Blue Ridge 35
BR 4 12 7 12 — 35
GCMS 15 9 8 15 — 47
Jenna Mozingo 6-0-13, Jaclyn Pearl 5-2-12, Meah Carter 4-0-8, Katie Bowns 0-0-0, Farrah Michaels 1-0-2, Stiger 0-0-0. Totals 16-2-35.
Kadyn Barnes 0-0-0, Hailey Ferguson 1-0-2, Kennedy Fanson 1-0-2, Kennedy Fanson 1-0-3, Hannah Hathaway 2-0-6, Rylee Tompkins 2-3-8, Skyler Funk 0-0-0, Emily Clinton 4-6-16, Abby Spiller 5-2-12, Emma Swanson 0-0-0. Totals 15-11-47.
3-pointers — Blue Ridge (Mozingo). GCMS 6 (Hathaway 2, Clinton 2, Fanson, Tompkins).