Gibbons gives Exeter boys an added dimension

EXETER � It�s been an impressive start to the season for the Exeter High School boys basketball team, which remains the lone unbeaten in Division I and hasn�t lost a game since the 2017-18 final four.

On Friday night, the Blue Hawks added a missing piece to the lineup that should make them even better.

Junior Jacob Gibbons saw his first minutes of the season last Friday night against Spaulding, coming off the bench after missing Exeter�s first four league games and the Queen City Invitational holiday tournament with a back injury.

�It feels good to be back,� Gibbons said.

The Blue Hawks have covered for their lack of size � 6-foot-3 point guard Ryan Grijalva has often been their biggest body on the floor � with elite ball movement and shooting from the perimeter. They�re averaging 9.5 made 3-pointers per game in league play this season.

Gibbons adds another dimension. He collected 10 rebounds and three blocks in Friday�s 57-38 win over Spaulding, adding six points with the highlight a coast-to-coast, three-point play early in the third quarter.

�It made me feel really good, getting that first bucket in the first half (against Spaulding),� Gibbons said. �Second half we really turned it on. � We brought our energy and we played Exeter basketball, so it was good from there.�

It carried over into Tuesday night�s game at Salem. Gibbons scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half and earned himself five free-throw attempts; the Blue Hawks turned the rematch of last year�s D-I state championship game into a rout, 75-44.

Grijalva scored 17 points and Leonard � who has 10 made 3-pointers in his last two games � added 14 points himself in the Salem win.

Exeter enters Friday night�s home game with Manchester Central riding a 33-game win streak. It won�t face its next opponent with a winning record until the Feb. 7 showdown against Winnacunnet in Hampton.

�Coming off an undefeated season, we feel like we have a lot to earn still,� Gibbons said. �It�s a new season, a new bunch of guys. We�re getting used to each other and we�re playing really well together so far.�

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