Geibel produces when it counts for victory
The maturity and growth of the Geibel boys basketball team was on display Wednesday night in a nonsection game at home against Apollo-Ridge.
After a tough road section loss to St. Joseph on Tuesday night, the Gators were able to pull together, and in the process, pull out a tough 50-48 win over the Vikings.
"Last year, we wouldn't have won this game," Geibel coach Dan Andria said. "We're a little more mature and a little stronger. You have to win games like this to have a successful season, and we were able to gut it out."
Andria admitted to having some concerns about how his team would respond after losing to St. Joseph the night before.
However, the Gators (7-4) quickly calmed the worries of their coach by building a 15-6 lead in the first quarter. Mike Noonan, Taylor Nowicki and Eddie Schweiss each hit big shots to help Geibel take the early advantage. Noonan finished with a team-high 17 points. Nowicki and Schweiss each figured in with 13 points.
"(Tuesday) night was a physically exhausting game, and I was worried about our focus in this game," Andria said. "We played well in spurts."
Apollo-Ridge also played well in spurts, which allowed the visitors to get back in the game in the second quarter.
Kyler Martin and Shane Wingard were largely responsible for the Vikings' second-quarter surge, which included an 8-0 run. Martin finished with a game-high 18 points, and Wingard connected for 14 points.
In the third, Martin continued to produce and helped Apollo-Ridge earn a one-point lead. But Geibel battled back with some strong defensive plays as well as some more clutch shooting from Nowicki, Noonan and Aaron Agostoni. Geibel led going to the fourth, 42-36.
In the fourth, Apollo-Ridge (7-6) kept coming, and took a 45-44 lead on a steal and layup by Wingard. But in the closing minutes, the Gators rattled off a 6-0 run and a big defensive steal by Christian Henckel helped seal the win for the Gators.
"Henckel made a big play on defense, and Schweiss made some big plays, and we got some rebounds," Andria said.
Despite losing, Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley was pleased with the effort.
"We haven't been having a great year, but the kids committed to me that they're not going to give up," Gourley said. "They kept battling, and that's all you can ask."
Apollo-Ridge visits Freeport tomorrow.
Geibel's busy week continues with a home game against Elderton on Friday and a game at Connellsville on Saturday.
"We've got four games this week, and this was a good win for us," Andria said.