MURPHYSBORO — Mishont Gibbs scored a game-high 17 points to lead Murphysboro to a 56-41 win over Harrisburg on Friday in SIRR Ohio Division boys basketball.
Gibbs racked up 10 of his points, including a pair of made triples, in the first quarter. Murphysboro took a three-point lead after eight minutes of play.
“He can really shoot it when he’s on, and I thought his defensive effort was really good tonight,” said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. “When Gibbs is shooting it well, it really makes us go.”
Gibbs, Tim Marston and Demari Greenwood each scored baskets during a 7-0 Murphysboro run early in the second quarter. That gave the Red Devils a 10-point lead.
Isaiah Saulsberry, one of the best players in the region, was limited to just eight points, which is roughly 10 points below his average for the Bulldogs.
“Greenwood has kind of been our defensive stopper,” Murphy said. “I thought he had an incredible game defensively. We lost Saulsberry a few times in transition. But Demari is 6-3 and long, and it’s pretty hard to get a good shot off over him.”
Hunter Smith and Jordan Bartok each buried triples during an 8-2 run for Harrisburg late in the third quarter. The Bulldogs sliced their deficit to just four points.
But Harrisburg was only to score four points in the fourth period.
“We gave up too many threes, and that was on our board as the number one thing to defend,” said Harrisburg coach Randy Smithpeters. “They are a three-point team, and we gave up too many of them. Offensively, we’ve got to score better and take some better shots.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Gibbs sank a 3-pointer, and Jeremy House converted a tip-in, and Murphysboro amassed a 12-point lead. The Bulldogs weren’t able to recover.
“Harrisburg is getting better, and they’ve got some guys now that are stepping up and hitting some shots,” Murphy said. “But I thought we clamped down defensively there for about five possessions in the fourth quarter. That was big for us. We executed beautifully offensively. It was a good game.”
Marston added 14 points for Murphysboro, and House tallied 11. Noah Ferrell paced Harrisburg with 11 points, and Smith added 10.
Murphysboro improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in Ohio games. Harrisburg fell to 6-6 and 1-3.