Balanced scoring and tough defense allowed the Goessel boys to defeat Flinthills High School on Thursday at the substate basketball tournament in Hartford.
Three players reached double figures and the team recorded 20 steals in its 53-19 win. The Mustangs scored first, but once the Bluebirds got into the flow of the game, Flinthills’ chances dimmed immediately.
Lawton Makovec hit a three-pointer and then Reece Hiebert picked up the next eight points for the Bluebirds. Goessel hit five of six free throws to finish the first quarter, with Ben Wiens, Zach Showalter, and Makovec connecting. The Bluebirds pulled ahead 18-6 at the end of one period. Makovec and Wiens did all the scoring in the second quarter as the Bluebirds extended their lead 30-13.
Brian Hiebert dropped in four points in the third period, and Wiens and Reece Hiebert continued to score, and Goessel pushed out to a comfortable 42-19 lead at the end of three periods. Goessel’s defense prevented any scoring from the Mustangs in the fourth period.
A three-point basket from Makovec gave the Bluebirds a 49-19 lead and the clock was set into running mode. Goessel advanced to the championship game with a final score of 53-19.
Wiens, 17 (and 8 steals); Reece Hiebert, 14; Makovec, 14; Brian Hiebert, 4; Zach Showalter, 3; and Lucas Hiebert, 1.
Finals vs. Hartford
The Bluebirds played Hartford in the finals on Saturday at the Hartford gym. The opening tip went to the Jaguars and they promptly opened the scoring with a three-pointer.
Zach Showalter answered with two points, but four quick points by Hartford forced a Bluebird time out. Makovec hit two free throws, but three more three-pointers from Hartford stunned the Goessel team, which trailed 18-4.
Connor Davis hit from the right side and Brian Hiebert scored from close range, but the Bluebirds could not stymie the Jaguar tempo as the home team led 25-8 at the end of one quarter. The Jaguars did not miss and the Bluebirds’ Reece Hiebert basket would be the only score for Goessel in the second quarter, as Hartford exploded to a 39-10 lead at halftime.
Hartford led by 37 points at the end of the third period and with the clock running in the last period, Goessel scored 11 points to end the season with a 61-31 loss.
Goessel will graduate four seniors who contributed to the scoring for this season. Reece Hiebert worked for 7 points; Brian Hiebert, 5; Wiens, 4; and Showalter, 2; each in their final game in a Bluebird uniform. Makovec added 4; Zach Wiens, 4; Kellen Froese, 3; and Davis, 2.
The Bluebirds finished the season with an 8-13 record.