Goessel boys take fourth at Burrton
By DELBERT PETERS
Goessel High School boys' basketball team headed into the Burrton Invitational this past week hoping to come home with another first place trophy for the year.
GHS earned the fourth seed and met up with Fairfield Jan. 14 for their first match.
Although the Bluebirds eventually won, they had trouble pulling away from the Mustangs.
The Bluebirds jumped out to a 13-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but only scored four points in the second period and led 17-16 going into the halftime break.
The Bluebirds found themselves in a tied game at the end of three periods, but came to life in the fourth quarter winning by seven points; 39-32.
Austin Unruh and Kendall Voth each scored eight points to lead the Bluebirds.
Nathan Ensz dropped in seven, Kurtis Duerksen, Travis Fensky, and Weston Hiebert four, Seth Ott three, and Craig Banman one.
Central Christian 46, Goessel 42
The Fairfield victory set the stage for Goessel to face undefeated Central Christian from Hutchinson.
This game turned into a back-and-forth battle, but Central pulled ahead in the fourth quarter.
Balanced scoring for the Bluebirds kept Goessel in the game to the end.
Central led at the end of one quarter 10-8, but the Bluebirds led at halftime 20-19, and at the end of the third quarter 30-29.
Central's Trent Stutzman scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, to ice the victory.
Goessel had a possession late in the game trailing by two points, but was unable to get the ball into the basket.
The Bluebirds lost 46-42 to a team they could meet again at sub-state later in the year.
Scoring for the Bluebirds were: Ensz eight, Banman seven, K. Voth six, Duerksen six, Unruh six, Fensky five, S. Ott two, and Hiebert two.
Pretty Prairie 55, Goessel 51 (OT)
The third place game of the tournament turned into a see-saw battle as the momentum switched several times between the two teams.
It seemed like a sluggish first half for the Bluebirds as the sagging zone defense of Pretty Prairie did not allow the ball to be tossed in near the bucket.
Outside shooting was cold for Goessel until Kendall Voth connected at the buzzer from the right corner as the first quarter ended, to give Goessel an 11-10 lead.
Voth connected on two more three-pointers as the second quarter started and Banman slashed inside for a layup, as Goessel took its largest lead of the game, 19-12.
Pretty Prairie then rattled off 11 straight points and Goessel found themselves behind 23-19 early in the third period.
The third quarter ended with a Bulldog bucket and Goessel trailed 31-28.
Coach Justin Coup came out with pressure defense in the fourth quarter and immediately Goessel responded with eight straight points, and took a 37-31 lead with six minutes left in the game.
Ensz and Fensky went to the free-throw line and connected on six straight free throws.
The Bulldogs kept hanging around and took advantage of three missed Goessel free throws late in the game to tie the score.
A Bulldog tip at the end of regulation went in, but the referees conferred and called off the points.
Ensz scored two free throws followed by a Banman layup and an Ott free throw to give the Bluebirds a three-point lead in overtime.
But Goessel struggled on defense as well as offense and Pretty Prairie ended the game ahead 55-51.
"Zone defenses have hurt us all season. Sometimes we're hot from outside, but when we are not, we struggle," Coup said.
Ensz led the team in scoring with 11 free throws, hitting 84 percent.
Banman and Kendall Voth each had nine points, Unruh eight, Hiebert six, Fensky five, Duerksen tw,o and Ott one.
Goessel is now 7-4 overall and will be playing Friday this week at Little River.
GHS will play Argonia Monday as a makeup game.