Against one of the most successful and tallest teams in the Wheat State League, Goessel High School boys’ basketball coach Curtis Guhr gave praise to the inside defense of Davis Cook, Peter Voth, Drake Sterk, Nic Buller, and Braden Unruh.
“Our defense took them out of their game,” Guhr said after a Goessel win at home Feb. 7.
Unruh scored 6 first-quarter points, but the potent White City Huskie offense only scored 3 points as the Bluebirds led, 6-3, after one period. Goessel led, 8-3, but White City rattled off 7 consecutive points to take the lead, and the visitors led at halftime, 14-12.
The Huskies earned their largest lead of the night, 4 points, in the third period at 18-14. The Bluebirds trailed, 21-22, but on the last possession of the quarter, Unruh hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Goessel led at the end of three periods, 24-22.
The lead changed hands several times in the fourth quarter. Goessel went ahead, 30-29, on an offensive rebound by Unruh and two free-throws with 1:38 to play. In the last 44 seconds, Goessel hit one of four free throws, White City missed two free-throws and threw an errant pass out of bounds. The Huskies managed a jump ball and the possession arrow gave the visitors one more chance. When the shot fell short, Goessel celebrated a 31-29 win.
Leading the way for the Bluebirds was Unruh with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Cook added 6 points; Voth, 2 points and 6 rebounds; Sterk, 2 points; and Buller, 2 points.
On Friday night, Peabody-Burns came to town in the last league game for the Bluebirds. The Bluebirds seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in the early stages of the game as they jumped out to a 14-6 lead behind 6 points from Braden Unruh and 4 points each from Davis Cook and Nic Buller. Peabody-Burns ended the first quarter with a field goal and free throw to end the quarter with Goessel ahead, 14-9.
The Bluebirds went five minutes without a score in the second period, and the Warriors took their first lead of the game and led by a score of, 20-17. By the time the quarter ended Goessel trailed, 20-19.
Six different players scored for Goessel in the third quarter as the Bluebirds exploded for 18 points. However, the Warriors kept pace and Goessel’s lead was 37-34 at the end of the third period. Buller scored first in the fourth quarter, but Peabody matched the field goal and both teams went into a turnover blitz for several minutes. For over three minutes, neither team scored. Seth Topham got the Warriors within 1 with a field goal, but missed the free throw. Goerzen went to the free-throw line and missed, Hunter Pickens went to the free-throw line for Peabody-Burns but missed two times, and Goessel still led by 1, 39-38. With 52 seconds remaining in the game, Unruh hit one of two free throws to give the home team a 2-point lead. It did not take the Warriors long to tie as Austin Savage split the defense for a layup and immediately called time out with the game knotted at 40.
Goessel ran time off the clock and called timeout with 11 seconds to play. The inbounds pass came to Unruh in front of the Bluebirds’ bench. Picking up a screen, Unruh drove down the sideline and then the baseline, working his way into the lane for a basket from close range. Peabody-Burns called timeout with 3.3 seconds on the clock. The inbounds pass was knocked out of bounds by Shane Goerzen and the Warriors had the ball near half court with 1.1 seconds on the clock. The inbounds pass was caught and the ensuing shot ricocheted off the backboard for a Goessel win at 42-40.
Leading the way for Goessel was Cook with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Unruh also had 13 points. Buller ended with 8 points; Goerzen, 4 points; and Peter Voth and Drake Sterk with 2 points each. Goessel ended Wheat State League play with a record of 5-3 and an overall record of 10-7.