Titans take home first Sectional Championship in 21 years

Coming in as the underdogs, the Titans brought some of their best playing of the season and skinned the Wildcats


Provided - Yearbook

Senior Garett Reid soars through the air to block a shot from Mater Dei in the Sectional Championship.

For the first time in 21 years, the Gibson Southern boys’ basketball team took home a Sectional title. The Titans faced off against Mater Dei on Saturday, March 4, for the Sectional Championship after taking out the Boonville Pioneers the night before. The Titans ended Mater Dei’s season with a final score of 70-51. 

The Titans began the game by winning the tip but were unable to score. The Wildcats came down and scored the first bucket of the game. The Titans came back down and tied it, 2-2, with a bucket from senior Jaxun Lamb. The Wildcats came back down and scored a three but the Titans answered back with a three, also. Gibson Southern took a bigger lead, 11-7, and then scored another three-pointer from Lamb to make it 14-7. 

In a game of back-and-forth, the Wildcats came back down and drained a three to make the score 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. 

Senior Ethan Spindler makes an easy two for the Titans to help increase their lead over Mater Dei. (Provided – Yearbook)

In the second quarter, Gibson Southern was first to score, with a quick two-pointer from senior Garett Reid. The Titans then scored again with another three-pointer from senior Ethan Spindler. Spindler came back down the court and did it again to give the boys a 12-point lead over the Wildcats, 22-10, with four minutes to go in the second. Mater Dei finally found the basket, scoring a two-pointer – their only points in the second quarter. Head coach Mark Rohrer thought the second quarter was one of the key factors that led to the Titans win.

“The biggest key to our win was the incredible second quarter,” Rohrer said. “We outscored Mater Dei 20-2, and after that, the game was basically over. Our guard play was outstanding in both games over the weekend, and our bigs did a great job of doing the dirty work in terms of defense and rebounding. I was proud of our guys’ mindset and composure.”

Lamb stepped up to the line and sank his free throws to make the score 25-12. The Titans then went on to hit three three-pointers in a row, all from senior Cole McKee to expand the Titan’s lead to 34-12 heading into the half. Confidence from McKee’s teammates helped inspire his run. 

“My teammates believed in me and kept telling me to shoot even though I was not shooting great to start out the game,” McKee said. “Jaxun and Ethan playing well off the start also helped me calm down and get locked in.”

Junior Maxx Wilson tightly guards the Wildcats. (Provided – Yearbook)

Gibson Southern started the third quarter with a basket from senior Isaac O’Neal. Mater Dei answered with a two-pointer and a couple of free throws to make it 37-15. Mater Dei scored a three-pointer and then came back down to score another two-pointer to make it 37-20. The Titans scored three buckets to the Wildcats one, putting the score at 43-22. The Wildcats drained two three-pointers in a row, but Gibson Southern responded with a three-pointer and another two-pointer from McKee and Lamb to take a 20-point lead, 48-28. Both teams scored one more time to end the third quarter at 50-30.

The Titans started out the fourth quarter with a couple of free throws, but the Wildcats came back down and scored a three. Gibson Southern went on to score nine straight points, six of which came from to back-to-back three-pointers from McKee to make the score 61-35. The Wildcats scored two back-to-back baskets bring the game to 61-39. The Titans scored three points off of a basket and a free throw from Spindler, but the Wildcats came back down and scored four points. Mater Dei went on to score eight more points to the Titans’ six, but that was not enough for the Wildcats. The Titans, who were the underdogs going in the game, won with a final score of 70-51. 

“It felt great to win,” Spindler said. “After 21 years of Gibson Southern never winning a Sectional, it feels amazing to finally get one for our team and the program.”

Gibson Southern reached the Sectional title game by defeating the Boonville Pioneers with a final score of 66-55. The Titans got out ahead early with a score of 15-6 in the first quarter. Gibson Southern maintained its lead going into halftime with a score of 27-22. Both teams kept it close in the third quarter with a score of 42-37. The Titans kept the lead and ended up with the win. 

Gibson Southern will play in the Regional championship against North Daviess at Washington High School on Saturday, March 11, at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.