Snow delayed the sub-state basketball tournament schedule last week for the Goessel High School girls’ basketball team. But the Bluebirds advanced to the semi-final round to take on Fairfield after defeating Burrton, 47-34, on Feb. 27.
Against Burrton, the Goessel girls moved the ball well and Johanna Hoffman scored five quick points to get the game off to a good start for the Bluebirds.
Burrton tied the game at 5, but Goessel went to work offensively and never looked back. Jessica Harvey and Page Hiebert combined for 10 points to give their team a first quarter lead. The Chargers managed to put in two buckets, but Goessel led at the first break, 15-9.
Alex Hiebert, Alicen Meysing and Aleena Cook each added a basket in the second period, but the Bluebirds missed many opportunities to widen their lead. However, Burrton also struggled and Goessel stayed in scoring command, leading 21-11 at the half.
Goessel’s half court trapping press resulted in numerous steals and lay-ups in the third quarter, as Page Hiebert, Alex Hiebert, and Erin Brubaker pushed Goessel’s lead to 35-13. Makayla King hit a free throw, pushing the Bluebirds’ lead to 20 points.
The scoring pace in the fourth quarter slowed a bit, but Anna Wiens hit a bucket and King hit two free throws, as the Bluebirds advanced to the semi-final round with a 47-23 win.
Scoring totals for the Bluebirds against Burrton were: Page Hiebert, 12, Alex Hiebert, 9, Harvey and Brubaker 6 each, Hoffman, 5, King, 3. Scoring two points each were: Meysing, Cook, and Wiens.
Harvey orchestrates a stunning comeback
The Bluebird girls returned to Burrton on Thursday to face the top seeded Fairfield Falcons. Goessel played a stellar first quarter as Brubaker swished a 3 -pointer, Page Hiebert banked a layup, and Hoffman nailed two free throws.
The Bluebirds led 7-4 as Hoffman put back an offensive rebound and then another field goal, ending the first quarter with the Bluebirds ahead 11-8.
Unfortunately for Goessel, Fairfield scored 12 unanswered points in less than five minutes to go up 20-11 in the second period. Aleena Cook scored four points and Harvey put in two free-throws before the first half ended with Goessel behind, 25-17.
The Bluebirds cut the deficit to 27-23 before the Falcons surged to a 39-25 lead. Cook and Harvey scored three points for the Bluebirds to end the third period behind, 39-28.
Page Hiebert hit a 3-pointer but Fairfield scored four points in the beginning of the fourth quarter. It was not until the last 5 minutes that Harvey came alive offensively and defensively. First, she hit a close jumper and then scored off of a steal. She drove into the lane and hit the bucket but missed the free throw.
The Bluebirds trailed 43-37 when Harvey nailed a long 2-pointer and was fouled on the next possession, hitting one-of-two free throws.
With less than 2:00 to play, Fairfield hit one free throw, building a four-point lead. Page Hiebert drew a foul with 1:03 to play and made one-of-two free throws. After a Falcon turnover, Harvey took a pass in the right corner and arced a 3-pointer into the bucket to tie the game at 44-44.
The Falcons were fouled with 21 seconds to play and hit both free throws. After a Bluebird timeout, Goessel tried to penetrate the lane but the ball was knocked out of bounds. Goessel took the inbound pass and lost control, forcing them to foul again, and the Falcons connected on another two free-throws to win by a final score of 48-44.
Harvey scored 12 points in a valiant fourth quarter and ended the game with 15. Hoffman added 12 points, Page Hiebert scored 8, Cook hit 6, and Brubaker, 3. The Goessel girls’ season ended with a record of 10-12.