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Goessel girls bow out of substate with close loss

Berean Academy slips past Bluebirds in thriller

Staff writer

The Goessel Bluebirds girls’ basketball team closed out the season in heartbreaking fashion Thursday as a buzzer-beating 3-point bid for overtime missed the mark, handing Berean Academy a hard-fought 32-29 substate semifinals win.

The Bluebirds were hoping to avenge a Feb. 16 34-20 loss to the Warriors.

“The girls battled to the end,” said Goessel’s head Coach Ryan Hoopes after the nail-biter. “We executed well and Berean did what we expected,” said Hoopes.

Both teams were deliberate on offense, with Berean leading just 9-6 at the end of the first quarter. Goessel’s point guard and leading scorer, Eden Hiebert, had 8 of Goessel’s 11 first-half points as the Bluebirds trailed 13-11 at intermission.

In the second half, with 5 minutes to play in the third quarter, Berean hit a 3-pointer to lead 17-13, but Leah Booton responded with a basket. Berean missed three of four free-throws as Eden Hiebert went to work. Bluebird fans went wild as she hit two free-throws, then wrestled for an offensive rebound and a putback, giving Goessel a 19-18 lead. The Warriors tied the game with a free-throw to end the third quarter.

A free-throw and a 10-footer by Burkholder gave the Bluebirds their biggest lead at 22-20. Berean responded with a 3-pointer, but Burkholder tied the score with another free-throw. Marina Bidegain sank two free-throws with 4:30 to play to give the Bluebirds a 25-24 lead.

Seven missed free throws by Berean kept the Bluebirds in the game. Two Eden Hiebert free-throws gave the Bluebirds their last lead of the game, 27-26. Berean defenders intercepted two Bluebird passes leading to 3 points and a 4-point lead, but Eden Hiebert forced in a layup with 38 seconds left to get back within 2. Berean made one of two free throws to take a 3 point lead with 9.8 seconds to play. Goessel attempted a 3-pointer to tie, but the ball bounced off the rim and Berean advanced with a 32-29 win.

Eden Hiebert ended the game with 18 points and Burkholder had a season-high 6 points.

Goessel’s season ended with a 16-5 record.

Eden Hiebert pushed her career point total to 1,004 points for her four years as a Blubird. Goessel will lose 83 percent of its scoring to graduation as seven seniors —Eden Hiebert, Brittney Hiebert, Abby Hannon, Booton, Burkholder, Emily Meier, and Jenna Nightengale — suited up for the last time in a Bluebird uniform.

Boys

The Bluebirds couldn’t match up against substate second-seed Hillsboro in an opening round game Feb. 27, falling 64-24.

For the season, senior Jordan Griffin, led the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game. Sophomore Dylan Lindeman was close behind at 13 points per game.

Seniors produced 48 percent of Goessel’s points. Griffin, Carson Sterk, Jayce Schmidt, and Nathaniel Schmucker ended their basketball careers at Goessel.

The Bluebirds finished with a 3-17 record.

Last modified March 8, 2018

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