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Centre, Goessel advance

Staff writers

Marion, Hillsboro, and Peabody-Burns were eliminated in boys substate basketball play last week, but Centre and Goessel will advance to second-round games Friday.

Centre secures thrilling victory

In what coach Richard Idleman termed their best game of the season, Centre’s boys (5-16 coming in) defeated 1-17 Burrton 62-50 Friday at Centre in the first round of the Class 1A Division II substate tournament.

In the second round Friday, they will play Central Christian (6-13) at 7:30 p.m. at Burrton.

The first-round game was much closer than the score would indicate.

Centre trailed, 18-14, after one quarter, but two layups, a three-pointer, and three free throws by Nick Krch, along with two layups and a three-pointer by Robert Spohn helped Centre to a three-point halftime lead .

In a back-and-forth third quarter, the Chargers outscored the Cougars 17-13 to gain a one-point lead.

The Cougars stepped up their play in the fourth quarter, winning by 12 points.

“It was an all-around team victory,” Idleman said.

Proof of that was that four players scored in double digits.

Krch scored 20 points and had four rebounds and two steals despite having “no gas left in his tank,” Idleman said.

Santiago Knepp put forth a “gut-wrenching” effort, according to Idleman, scoring 15 points along with five rebounds and five steals.

Spohn, a sophomore, scored 12 points and had four rebounds and two steals.

Dane Meier had the best game of his young career, scoring 11 points and grabbng eight rebounds.

“This was a team effort from beginning to end,” Idleman said. “I’m so proud of them.”

If the Cougars win Friday, they will play in the championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Goessel survives rocky stretch

Goessel’s offense was clicking in the first part of its game Friday against fourth-seeded Soloman (11-9 going in).

The fifth-seeded Bluebirds (9-10) led 13-6 at the end of the first quarter and 22-12 at halftime. In the third quarter, they built a 34-15 lead and appeared to have the game under control.

But Solomon became more aggressive on defense, intercepting pass after pass and outscoring the Bluebirds 17-5.

Goessel called a time out with 4:22 left, leading 39-32. Taking more care with passes, the Bluebirds gradually extended their lead, giving the Goessel faithful a chance to relax, winning 47-35.

Noah Schrag led the Bluebirds with 18 points. Seniors Caleb Burkholder and Jake Wiens added eight apiece. Wiens, the shortest player on the Bluebird varsity, led the team with seven rebounds.

The Bluebirds will be on their home court Friday in a semifinal match with Elyria Christian (17-3 going into the playoffs). The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m,

If victorious, Goessel would play again at 7 p.m. Saturday in the finals of the Class 1A Division I substate.

Marion just short of big upset

The last-seeded Warriors (3-17 going in) left it all on the court Monday night, forcing top-seeded Chase County (17-3) to fight till the bitter end in the first round of the Class 2A substate tournament.

Marion led for three quarters but was unable to sink a three-pointer needed in the last 14 seconds to send the game into overtime.

After missing the shot, the Warriors were called for a foul, allowing the Bulldogs to secure a 51-46 victory.

“We played a really good game tonight but we struggled in the second half to score,” coach Donald Raymer said. “I was very proud of how hard these guys worked and battled through the season,.”.

Jack Lanning had 16 points; Johnathan Frese, 13; and Cooper Bailey, 12 points

“It’s always hard to end a season on a loss, but only eight teams in the state end on a win, and tonight Chase County had to earn this one,” Raymer said. “The Heart of America League really prepared us well for tonight’s contest.”

Defending state champ upended

Nothing lasts forever. No matter how fun or miserable it may be, all rides eventually come to an end.

Thirty-five years ago, coach Darrel Knoll took over for former Terry Hill, who resigned as Hillsboro’s coach after the 1987-’88 season.

The ride came to its end Monday night in Salina with the Trojans facing a familiar post-season foe, the Sacred Heart Knights, in the first round of the Hillsboro Class 2A sub-state.

Hillsboro’s two-year reign as Class 2A champion came to an end with the fourth-seeded Knights toppling fifth-seeded Hillsboro, 54-31.

The Trojans’ season came to an end at 9-12, and Knoll’s chase for 600 victories fell three short, with his final record standings at 597-225.

The number 2,500 has been looming over Trojan basketball players for 31 years.

That’s the number it’d take to dethrone former standout Craig Duerksen as the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Brekyn Ratzlaff did just that, but its wasn’t enough to keep the team’s season alive..

Hillsboro faced an uphill climb after the first quarter minute of the contest.

The Knights grabbed a 10-5 lead in the quarter, and Hillsboro never had the firepower to catch up.

Ratzlaff closed out his career with a game-high 15 points, but the Trojans never gained footing, shooting a gruesome 16% from the floor.

Hillsboro was in big trouble by halftime, down 22-10.

The Trojans couldn’t get the lid off the basket in the second half.

It was never a sweat to the Knights, who shot a hot 55% in the second half, 48% overall, to end Hillsboro’s reign.

Other than the 6-3 Hillsboro edge in offensive rebounding, the Knights outdid the Trojans on the glass, 38-27.

Sacred Heart was up 31-18 heading into the fourth quarter, and Hillsboro never threatened again.

Kyle Kroeker will attempt to fill the giant shoes Knoll leaves behind, but the cupboard is not empty for him.

Peabody-Burns shy three points

The Warriors (4-15) lost Friday at home against Junction City (2-9) in the first round of the Class 1A Division I tournament.

Peabody-Burns was just three points shy of advancing to the next round, losing 50-48.

Last modified March 1, 2023

 

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