Goessel boys earn their way to sub-state


Contributing writer

With a first round bye Feb. 18 at the Goessel 1A regional, the Goessel High School boys' basketball team needed to win just one game in order to compete at the 1A sub-state tournament.

Goessel's competition in the second round were the Elyria Christian Eagles, who had defeated Hope in first-round play, 59-50.

Craig Banman started the Bluebirds scoring with a three-pointer from the left corner, and Nathan Ensz scored all eight of his points in the first quarter.

Austin Unruh hit two free throws and Weston Hiebert put back a rebound, as the Bluebirds went into the first break with a 15-4 lead.

Kurtis Duerksen knocked down a three-pointer and Unruh, Banman, Kendall Voth, and Seth Ott added to the Bluebirds points.

GHS took a commanding 30-8 lead at the half.

Elyria scored 11 points in the third period but still the Bluebirds led by 30.

As coaches emptied the bench in the fourth quarter Goessel coasted to a comfortable 65-27 victory.

Scoring for the Bluebirds saw Banman nail a season-high 17 points.

Ensz and Kendall Voth each had eight, Unruh and Hiebert six, Stefan Henkel, Duerksen, and Ott five, Sam Lehrman four, and Travis Fensky one point.

White City was Goessel's regional tournament championship opponent.

The Bluebirds never trailed in the Saturday contest.

Goessel's firepower came from balanced scoring as a team and rebounding that often allowed the Huskies only one shot at the basket.

Senior Ensz contributed 19 points in the victory, and fellow senior Duerksen nailed two three-pointers and two other field goals for a season best 10 points.

Goessel led at the breaks 16-8, 24-15, 39-24, and won by a final score of 58-28.

Although the game was still in doubt at halftime, the Bluebirds went on a 12-2 run early in the third period with Kendall Voth and Duerksen hitting threes, Banman driving through traffic for a layup, and Ensz dropping in two buckets.

The lead at that point was 36-19 and the Goessel fans were able to relax, as the Bluebirds defense limited the Husky scoring.

Scoring for the Bluebirds against White City were Ensz 19 points and 13 rebounds, Duerksen 10 points, Kendall Voth eight, Unruh seven, Hiebert four points and three assists, and five players with two points: Banman, Fensky, Lehrman, Henkel, and Ethan Ott.

Goessel (17-6) advances to the 1A sub-state tournament against St. Paul (6-17) at 6 p.m. Thursday in Emporia's White Auditorium.

The winner of this game will play at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Only the winner of the final match will advance to the 1A state tournament at Hays.