LISBON — Lisbon’s Levi Tibbetts was feeling under the weather in the couple of days leading up to Tuesday’s MVC boys basketball matchup against Monmouth. 

While illness was the cause for many players being out Tuesday and Lisbon being left with seven players in uniform at tip-off, Tibbetts was fit enough to play and the junior forward grabbed 17 rebounds and added 11 points in the Greyhounds’ 41-30 victory over the Mustangs. 

Tibbetts grabbed seven boards in the first quarter and scored four points. His teammate Nick Ferrence hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, as well, and Lisbon jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead after one period. 

“Honestly, I think I found myself in good position, offensively and defensively,” Tibbetts said. “When the shot was taken, I had good position on my guy to get the rebound. As far as scoring, we had a nice thing going where we got me isolated in the paint. As the game went on, they started collapsing so I found my teammates.”

Monmouth stole the ball four times in the first quarter but only made one field goal in the period. 

In the second, Monmouth’s Hunter Frost had back-to-back steals that he took to the other end for a layup with four minutes left in the first half. The two coast-to-coast layups by Frost helped drag the Mustangs back into the game as they trailed 10-8. 

“No adjustments, just a lot of making shots,” Monmouth coach Wade Morrill said of the team’s play in the second quarter. “The game is designed for scorers to score and get open shots to put the ball in the basket and we didn’t do that near enough consistently. … Hunter is an incredibly good basketball player for us. We ask him to do a lot for us and he had some nice touches. He got some good looks and was able to finish in spurts and it was nice to see.”

Monmouth was able to tie the game with 1:10 left in the second quarter when Carter O’Connell hit a jumper to tie it at 12-12. 

With 21 seconds left in the first half, Tibbetts hit a layup and was fouled on the shot. He made the free throw and Lisbon went into halftime up 15-12. 

“He’s big for us every night,” Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said. “He’s a mismatch nightmare for people because he used to be a guard in middle school, then grew to be 6-5 or whatever. He’s super athletic, sees over everybody and he is a really smart player. He was sick but he was able to grit it out for us tonight.”

Tibbetts grabbed four rebounds and scored four points in the third to keep Lisbon ahead. Mason Booker also helped out with four of his 10 points in the third. With just two bench players, Gentle had to make sure everyone was getting a rest. 

“Illness,” Gentle said of the reason many players were out. “We were down two starters and one of the guys off our bench and even a couple of our starters today were under the weather, so they were really gritty gutting it out against a really tough team.”

Frost scored nine of Monmouth’s 10 points in the third en route to a game-high 15 points. But the Mustangs still trailed 31-22 heading into the fourth quarter.

“Give a lot of credit to Lisbon, they work hard and have a lot of size,” Morrill said. “They do some good things and offensively they were patient and made us expend a lot of energy stopping them. I don’t think we did a good enough job.”

Ferrence scored a bucket in the fourth to get to 10 points on the night and Lisbon was able to keep the Mustangs at bay. 

“I think it was just our determination to grit it out,” Gentle said. “I don’t think either team shot it great in the first quarter. I don’t know if it’s a holiday hangover with all the food, but I know Wade would probably say the same thing. It’s attributed to both teams playing good defense. We were in this situation against Spruce (Mountain). We had a lead late and couldn’t hold on, so I think we learned a lot from that game.”

“I thought we moved the ball great and we kept them off the glass pretty well, and our defense was great,” Tibbetts added.


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