Austin Unruh dominated the game offensively with 32 points Saturday as Goessel High School defeated Burrton, 65-52, to become regional champions.
Although missing several attempts at close range in the first quarter, senior Unruh scored 23 second-half points on his way to a season-high 32 for the game.
At 6-foot-3 the senior was on the receiving end of several good passes from teammates that led to easy buckets.
Goessel jumped out to an 8-0 early lead, but Burrton tied the game at 10.
The Bluebirds managed a 13-4 run to capture a commanding lead and would never trail again.
Burrton kept chipping away at the Bluebird lead and with less than four minutes to play got as close as 56-52.
The Bluebirds went to the free-throw line and hit 9-of-10 in the final two minutes of the game to claim the victory.
Helping the Bluebirds maintain a lead on the scoreboard was a rebounding advantage.
“We dominated the boards tonight,” said GHS coach Justin Coup. “This win should give us a number seed at sub-state next weekend.”
Only six players scored for the Bluebirds as Unruh led the way with 32, Travis Fensky dropped in 12, Kendall Voth split the nets with 10, while Craig Banman and Weston Hiebert each had five.
GHS jumped out to a 16-0 lead Friday in the first round of the Burrton regional tournament against Central Christian.
Kendall Voth began the game scoring all of his 11 points in the first quarter, and GHS led 19-1 at the end of one. However, Central Christian hung around, and after trailing by 21 early in the third, the Cougars put together a run to get as close as 38-29 in the fourth period.
Goessel was able to hold on to the lead as the clock ran down and won by a final score of 45-34. The victory guaranteed the Bluebirds a spot at sub-state.
Voth’s 11 first-quarter points led the team in scoring, followed by Nikko Herman’s nine points, Banman’s seven points, as well as Hiebert’s seven.
Unruh finished the game with six points and Fensky knocked in five second-half points.
Goessel (18-5) has been assigned to the Emporia 1A sub-state and its first game will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Hartford (10-12).
Winners will play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a trip to the state tournament on the line.