Olpe ends Goessel boys' season


Contributing writer

After picking up a 58-15 victory Thursday against St. Paul in the opening round of sub-state play, the Goessel High School boys' basketball team was defeated Saturday by 23-2 Olpe, 71-59.

The Bluebirds dominated the game from the start en route to the easy victory against St. Paul.

The Bluebirds jumped out to a 15-0 lead and St. Paul scored its first basket with one minute, 47 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Bluebirds defense intercepted many passes and forced the Indians to set up their offense far away from the goal.

Many of the Bluebirds baskets were from close range, as Nathan Ensz and Austin Unruh took high percentage shots.

Kendall Voth, Craig Banman, and Travis Fensky hit long-range shots from beyond the arc, as Goessel led at halftime, 36-8.

The second half was much the same as the Bluebirds defense stifled any attempt at a rally.

Goessel led at the end of the third quarter 50-12 and finished the game off, 58-15.

Nine Bluebirds got into the scoring column.

Unruh led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Ensz scored 11 points with seven rebounds, while Fensky and Voth each had eight points, and both connected on their two, three-point attempts.

Banman scored seven, Weston Hiebert four, and Seth Ott, Sam Lehrman, and Kurtis Duerksen (four assists) all had two points.

The Bluebirds faced the Olpe Eagles Saturday in the championship game.

Goessel got off to a slow start with several missed shots and turnovers while Olpe scored seven straight points.

Three free throws from Ensz and Voth got the Bluebirds on the scoreboard, but the Eagles went on a 9-3 run to finish the first quarter and Goessel trailed 19-8.

Ensz and Hiebert ran into foul trouble in the first half, so the Bluebirds depended more on their outside shooting in the second quarter.

Banman, Fensky, and Duerksen all hit from long range, while Unruh and Hiebert scored around the bucket.

Olpe led by 12 points several times in the quarter, but a 7-0 run just before halftime boosted the Goessel morale as they headed into the locker room with momentum in their favor, trailing 31-26.

In the third quarter, Olpe would try to extend their lead, but matching baskets by the Bluebirds kept the deficit at four points as Goessel trailed 40-36.

Things started to fall apart momentarily for the Bluebirds midway through the third quarter, as Olpe scored 11 straight points, and the Bluebirds fell behind by 13, 51-38.

Voth hit back-to-back three-pointers, and six points from Ensz got the Bluebirds back within six points with less than four minutes to play.

Seven straight points from Banman and two free throws from Ensz got the Bluebirds within five points with less than two minutes remaining.

Fouls by the Bluebirds to stop the clock resulted in free throws for the Eagles, and desperation shots by the Bluebirds failed to connect as Olpe won the game by 12 points.

Banman scored a season-high 21 points and led all scorers in the game..

Ensz scored 13 points, Voth knocked down eight, Unruh led the team with nine rebounds and six points, Fensky dished out three assists to go along with six points, Duerksen scored three, and Hiebert finished the game with two points.

Goessel shot a remarkable 47.4 percent from three-point range, and connected on 82.4 percent of its free throws.

The Bluebirds will lose five seniors to graduation in Ott, Ensz, Duerksen, Cameron Voth, and Lehrman.

Goessel ended the 2008 season with a record of 18-7.