POLAND — Poland’s Hunter Gibson chose senior night to have a big shooting game.

The senior forward hit his first six shots and scored 31 points to propel the Knights to a 67-56 boys basketball victory over Waynflete on Friday.

“Senior night, all the emotion in it, but once you get into it you don’t really think about it until the first quarter ends and you think, ‘I haven’t missed a shot, but I have to keep going,’” Gibson said.

Gibson, who made six 3-pointers in the game, scored 18 of his points in the first two quarters. He also played a part in Poland’s strong finish to the first half.

With 10 seconds left in the first half and the Knights (5-4) leading 32-27, Gibson stole the ball on a full-court press. After missing a layup, he rebounded his own miss and made his second shot attempt with the clock ticking down.

Waynflete heaved the ball to half-court, but Poland’s Hayden Christner stole the pass and quickly found Joe Levesque for a layup that beat the halftime buzzer and gave Poland a 36-27 lead.

“There’s one to two-and-a-half minutes I’d like to have back,” Waynflete coach Rich Henry said. “That was one of the minutes.”

Gibson’s huge first half came after being recognized on the court before the game as one of Poland’s four seniors. Coach Bill Flynn said the Knights celebrated senior night in mid-January because of the possibility of games being postponed or canceled in the future.

Included in Gibson’s early-game scoring barrage was four 3-pointers. His third 3 put the Knights up 16-10 with 70 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Waynflete (3-4), though, finished the opening period strong. Sam Ribeiro knocked down a 3-pointer and Ed Cox hit two free throws to pull the Flyers within 16-15 heading into the second quarter.

The Flyers also got two 3-pointers from sophomore guard Nico Kirby in the first.

“I am very proud of the way those guys played,” Henry said. “To travel as far as we did, play a really good team on the road with a lot of really good players, I am proud.”

Gibson kept scoring in the second, putting up nine points. 

“Getting him to open up his game and get shots that he’s comfortable with, he makes a couple shots and then it’s just, ‘Get out of his way,’” Flynn said. “He’s so good on offense, whether it was from deep, at the hoop, even some pull-ups. He is so diverse, and if we can spread the ball out and allow him to create his offense then he’s going to put the ball in the basket. Once he’s in rhythm he’s unstoppable and he showed it tonight.”

Levesque helped out in the second, scoring six of his 11 first-half points.

Gibson didn’t play much of the third quarter because of foul trouble, but Poland scored 18 points between six players. Six of those points were scored by Hunter Brackett, including a 3-pointer from the right corner after Shane Yorkey drove into the lane and kicked a no-look pass out to Brackett, putting the Knights up 49-35 with 2:12 left in the third.

“We just talked about it, we got back to moving the ball,” Flynn said. “That was something where we felt like we were in a funk offensively. We worked in practice on controlling the offensive flow. Teams are keying in on Hunter and clogging him up, guys being able to get in space and one extra pass. Particularly in the first half, and also we had a run in the third where we were really cruising and our ball movement was great. Those are some things we talked about and it was great to see it.”

Christner hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the quarter to give Poland a 54-42 advantage after three frames.

“The biggest positive was moving the ball,” Gibson said. “Once we get into our flow of the game and into our rhythm, I don’t think anyone can stop us defensively. I think going into our next couple big games, if we do the same on offense then we will be OK.” 

Gibson came back into the game to start the fourth and scored 10 of Poland’s first 12 points of the quarter. His second 3-pointer of the period put the Knights’ lead at 60-44.

Poland’s Chance Brown, a senior guard, kept multiple possessions alive in the fourth quarter by pulling down five offensive rebounds.

“Chance Brown was a swiss army knife,” Flynn said. “He was everywhere. He hits open shots, is unselfish and his defense was outstanding.”

Waynflete’s senior guard Henry Hart notched two steals in the fourth and scored seven points in the final quarter as the Flyers attempted to close the gap, but the Knights survived the blows and earned the win.

Henry was happy with how his team fought at the end of the game, particularly Hart. 

“I am proud of how we battled back,” Henry said. “You can’t say enough about Henry Hart, he is the heart of the team and I want the other guys to take on his sense of urgency.”

Kirby scored a team-high 11 points for Waynflete. Hart and Matt Adey had nine apiece.

Levesque finished with 13 points for Poland.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.