The game Feb. 22 was the second game in as many days for the Goessel High School boys basketball team. The Bluebirds lacked crispness as they tangled with the second-ranked team in the state in the 2A division. Berean Academy rattled off 8 consecutive points to end the first quarter with a 12-3 lead. The inside play of Berean was impressive, not because of height, but because good passes found open men for easy baskets.
Davis Cook scored 4 points in the second period, but the Bluebirds felt the momentum slipping away as the Warriors ended the first half with a 22-13 lead.
Berean started the second half with a 16-3 run, to blow the game wide open. Neal Brubaker dropped in a basket at the buzzer to end the third quarter with the Bluebirds behind, 38-18.
The Berean lead grew to 26 points late in the fourth quarter and the Goessel fans had little to cheer about. As the coaches cleared the bench, 5-foot-3 Shane Goerzen delighted the crowd with his speed as he dropped in 2 baskets, late in the game to make the final score Berean 50, Goessel 28.
Cook led the team with 6 points. Goerzen, Braden Unruh, Corey Buller, and John Berkholz had 4 points each. Brubaker and Nic Buller had 3 points apiece.
The Bluebirds had a better game Feb. 21 with White City, however a come-from-behind victory may have spent most of their energy in this weather-delayed game. The Bluebirds fell behind, 4-0, to start the game, but a 3-pointer by Corey Buller, 4 points from Nic Buller, and a basket by Cook kept the Bluebirds as close as 10-9 at the end of one quarter.
The second quarter was laced with scoring streaks by the Huskies. The quarter started with White City scoring the first 6 points and ended with the Huskies scoring the last 6 points. The Bluebirds had connected on three 3-pointers in the first half, but it would take more than that to erase a 9-point deficit at the half, 30-21.
It looked dismal at the start of the second half as the home team outscored Goessel 9-2 to go ahead by 16 points.
A Bluebird rally began with Unruh scoring 4 points, Schmidt making a 3-pointer followed by a basket by Brubaker. Unruh hit another 3 and Goessel had closed within 5 points with 1:10 to play in the third period.
Several Husky points were matched with another Schmidt 3-pointer and the quarter ended with White City ahead, 46-38.
Jake Smucker started the fourth quarter with Goessel’s seventh 3-pointer of the night. Two free throws by Berkholz and another trey from Schmidt got the Bluebirds within 2 points with 5 minutes left in the game. The Bluebirds began matching baskets with the home team, but when Berkholz hit Goessel’s ninth 3-pointer of the game, the Bluebirds had tied the game, 52-52. The Bluebirds could not gain the lead, but a jumper by Unruh tied the game at 54.
Fortunately, for the visitors, White City missed 3-of-4 free throws and with 15 seconds remaining, Goessel called time-out to set up the last play of the game. When the set play did not develop, Schmidt found Unruh at the top of the key and a running jumper hit nothing but net to give Goessel their first lead of the game and a victory on the books with a final score, 56-55.
Unruh led the team with 18 points. Schmidt knocked in 13 and Berkholz canned 7. Cook, Brubaker, and Nic Buller each had 4 points. Smucker and Corey Buller had 3 points apiece.
The Goessel boys ended the regular season with a 10-10 record and a 5-3 record in the Wheat State League.