Friday was the last regular season girls game for the Goessel High School Bluebirds. Goessel finished the season with their sixth league win, 30-24.
One year ago, the girls were 1-10 in the league and this year finished 6-5. Both Goessel and Canton-Galva were satisfied to play zone defenses and the opportunity to score easy baskets was diminished.
The Bluebirds led 5-4 at the end of the first quarter. Canton-Galva’s Tara Scott, with 13 points, blocked several shots close to the basket and the Bluebirds were not able to get much scoring from more than 10 feet from the goal.
Goessel hit one of six free throws in the third quarter and fell behind, 17-13.
Johanna Hoffman canned a 3-pointer to start the fourth period and the Bluebirds switched to a trapping man-to-man offense, which led to 13 steals, most of them in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense allowed us some good transition points,” Coach Ryan Hoopes said.
Aspen Frey intercepted a pass and lobbed the ball down court to Karina Harvey who finished a left-handed layup. Frey hit two free throws and the Bluebirds had the lead, 20-19.
Kendra Flaming hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 39 seconds to play in the game. On the next trip down the floor Flaming connected on a 10 footer and hit a free throw to give the home team a 26-22 lead with 1:06 to play.
Goessel held on to win, 30-24.
Statistics against Canton-Galva showed Flaming with 11 points. Frey had 6 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Karis Janzen connected on 5 points, Harvey 4 points and four steals, Hoffman 3 points, and Shanna Klassen 1 point.
Goessel was whistled for 26 fouls in Tuesday’s game and had trouble figuring out how to stay in their offensive rhythm when starters were forced to the bench.
The Bluebirds started out well with Karis Janzen scoring 8 points in the first quarter. Ell-Saline made some adjustments in the second quarter to shut down Goessel’s inside game. The Bluebirds led, 21-9, with 3 minutes to play in the first half, but the momentum began to shift.
The Cardinals went to the free-throw line 15 times in the second quarter, but fortunately for the Bluebirds they were only able to connect on seven of them and Goessel still led 23-15 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Bluebirds could only manage one basket as the Cardinals scored 14 points. The visitors led 29-26 at the break, but a basket by Jennifer Van Horn and a free throw by Flaming tied the game at 29-29.
Ell-Saline managed to outscore the Bluebirds 8-2 and 4 points from Frey late in the game was just not enough as Ell-Saline won, 39-33.
Statistics against Ell-Saline showed Janzen led the Bluebirds with 10 points and five blocked shots, Flaming finished with 8 points and three assists, and Frey had 8 points and five steals. Shanna Klassen came up with 4 points and six rebounds, Van Horn 2, and Jessica Goertzen 1.
The girls finished the season with an overall record of 11-9 and a league record of 6-5.
The Bluebirds are expecting the 2A sub-state bracket to be set today to determine where there next game will be.