Against the eighth-ranked Udall Eagles, the Goessel High School boys’ basketball team got off a last second 3-pointer to tie, but it bounced off the rim in a Feb. 14 loss.
The Bluebirds fell behind, 11-4, and it looked like the home team with the better record was off to another win. Two baskets by Peter Voth got Goessel within 3 points and the first quarter ended with a Udall fast break to give the Eagles a 13-8 advantage.
Shane Goerzen hit a 3-pointer and Nic Buller put an offensive rebound back for a score and suddenly the game was tied at 13. Udall hit two 3-pointers, but Buller answered with two baskets of his own, and Goerzen hit a shot in the paint to tie the game at 19. Trey Schmidt knocked in a 3-pointer to match the Eagles and Drake Sterk hit two free throws and a jumper in the lane to give the Bluebirds their first lead, 26-24. Udall ran down the clock and beat the buzzer at the end of the second quarter to tie the game at 26.
The second half started with Braden Unruh hitting a 3-pointer, but then the zone defense for the Eagles prevented any more points in the third period. Udall went on a 7-0 run to finish the third quarter ahead, 33-29. The Eagles hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth period, flying to a 7-point lead, but the Bluebirds began to scratch their way back into the game. Davis Cook and Voth each hit high percentage baskets to close the gap to 36-33.
After an Eagle basket, Trey Schmidt rattled in a 3-pointer and the Bluebirds trailed by 2 points with just over two minutes to play. With good defense and then some mistakes both teams were scoreless for a whole minute.
Unruh tied the game at 38 at the one-minute mark, and a bevy of timeouts were called in the last 60 seconds. Udall went ahead by 3 on a free throw with 37 seconds to play and Buller went two-for-two from the line to bring the Bluebirds within 1 point, 41-40, with 16 seconds on the clock.
The Eagles completed a fast break and Goessel called timeout with four seconds to set up their last play of the game, down 43-40. Unruh launched a 3-pointer from 25 feet that hit both sides of the rim and bounced away.
Buller led the team with 10 points, going 4 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line and also accumulated 9 rebounds. Goerzen scored 7 points, Schmidt 6 points with 3 assists, Voth hit 6 points, Unruh scored 5, Sterk 4 points and Cook 2 points.
GHS 45, Canton-Galva 29
Against the Canton-Galva Eagles on Friday, Goessel had a big third quarter to put the game away.
This non-league game started with the Bluebirds running out to a 9-2 lead on points from Unruh, Buller, and Schmidt. The Eagles scored 5 consecutive points, but two free throws by Buller and a 3-pointer by Goerzen gave the Bluebirds a 14-7 lead at the end of one quarter.
Goessel pulled out to a 19-9 lead on baskets by Cook and Buller, but Canton-Galva began chipping away at their deficit and the Bluebird lead shrank to 5 points, 23-18, at halftime.
Cook, Goessel’s 6’4” junior, made a defensive presence felt, being the tallest player on the floor.
The Eagles penetration to the basket was often thwarted with some contact that was not often called and Goessel stretched their lead to 33-22 by the end of three periods. Voth hit a free throw, Unruh slashed to the basket and Goerzen hit a three pointer from the right corner to lift the Bluebirds to a 39-24 lead. Devon Stos from Canton-Galva and Unruh, senior leaders for both teams, collided going for a loose ball smacking heads, with both players leaving the game. The game ended with the Bluebirds winning, 45-29.
Cook had a season high 15 points. Unruh and Buller missed no shots each with 8 points, Goerzen hit 7, Schmidt 6 points, and Voth 1.
The Goessel boys were 11-8 with one game at Berean on Tuesday, before sub-state play begins at the place of the higher seed on Monday for the boys. Winners of Monday’s game will play at Goessel on March 1.