It was a wire-to-wire victory for Gallatin County, but it didn't come without some drama as the Hawks claimed the 64-52 victory of Hardin County in the 1A Regional championship game in Elizabethtown.
Gallatin County flirted with a 10-point lead most of the game, but the Cougars roared back to cut the deficit to two, 50-48 on back-to-back 3-pointers.
From there, Gallatin County closed the game on a 14-6 run with 14 points coming from one person: Audie Goebel.
It was a moment that Gallatin County head coach Jeff Hermann said was tailor-made for his senior.
"I looked up at about the three minute mark and said, 'Audie, you helped get us here and you're going to lead us to the victory.' And he sure did, but look, our seniors and all of our players played fantastic defense down the stretch when we needed it the most."
Goebel, a senior forward had a game-high 25 points and went 11-for-11 from the free throw line in the game, including a stretch of eight straight in the last 2:44 to help the Hawks win their second regional title in the last four years.
Goebel was a sophomore the last time Gallatin County won a regional and it was at Hardin County. The senior forward said he felt right at home Friday night.
"I wanted the ball the whole time, but my team did a good job of putting the pressure on (Hardin County) the whole time," Goebel said. "(Hardin County) just started gaining momentum after they started hitting threes and we couldn't do anything about it but we fought back hard."
Hardin County got to within four points at 50-46 with 5:29 to play on back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Cougars trailed 15-6 after the first quarter, 33-21 at halftime and 45-38 at the end of the three.
It was 50-40 after a Goebel hoop and harm play, but two 3-pointers by Jaron Austin got the Cougars back in the game.
Austin had 17 points for Hardin County, while Gabe Fowler had a team-high 20 points.
Johnny Johnson and Jake Vaughn each scored six points, while Jermane Johnson tacked on two points.
After Goebel's 25 points, Dawson Hish scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while Robbie Prince tossed in 13 points and Garrett Rushing added eight points.
Gallatin County will host Woodlawn in the Gallatin County 1A Sectional tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. On Wednesday night, Sesser-Valier will play Cairo at 7 p.m. and the 1A Sectional Championship will be held Friday night at 7 p.m.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.