Boys' season ends in a semi-finals lost to Little River
Together As One
For Goessel’s Seniors, going north to play post-season this year was numbed by the prospect of facing #1 1A Div I ranked (KBCA 2/23 poll) Little River. Only one team this season has figured out the all-around solid “basketball team from Little River” and they look like an odds-on favorite to win both the Eight Man football title and the 1A Div I basketball title. Seniors Nate Zogleman, Jake Hiebert, Luke Wiens, Eddie Gaeddert and Dawson Stutzman have made this year’s Bluebird squad extremely enjoyable to watch. Goessel could also not find answers v. Little River’s extreme quickness, trapping defenses, and tenacious team play and the Bluebird season came to a close 38-58.
Goessel had to keep this one close to stay in it tonight. With Little River’s quick hands and ability to convert turnovers to buckets in the blink of an eye, ball-handling and defending against the three were going to be ever so important. Coach Guhr indicated pre-game that he wanted to try to “slow things down” against the high-powered quick moving offense. LR jumped out to an 0-8 lead after three such turnovers and LR lay-ins. At 4:20 Luke Wiens went “halfback” and struck paydirt with an excellent finish 2-8 and at 3:32 Zogleman was fouled underneath and hit two charities to give Bluebird fans hope of a close contest. With the quarter closing, Goessel had kept the LR long range game at bay but Senior Stephens hit to go to 4-12, then Caiden Duerksen fed Dawson Stutzman rolling and Skyler Wuest ignited the crowd with a long range trey from the top of the key to move to 9-12. Duerksen rolled one in off the glass on a beautiful runner 11-14. After one quarter, the teams were even from beyond the arc.
Apparently, someone whispered in Jayden Garrison’s ear at the break; he reeled off three straight pull up long range bombs a la Stephen Curry but without the mouthpiece. The wheels on Goessel’s ball-handling game fell off and Coach Guhr called time at 4:42 down 11-25. In a hard fought gauntlet to the bucket, Zogleman got two and Stutzman dolloped one in a moment later 15-25. Little River timeout 3:12. At 1:42, it looked like there may again be renewed hope as Jake Hiebert came alive with a nice follow, but the Bluebird crowd was immediately quieted down by two straight dagger threes by Lafferty and Garrison, taking it to 17-31. The 6-17 quarter with 5 treys from Little River nearly put this one away and the half ended 17-31.
In a back and forth hard nosed contest after the half, Duerksen looked awesome with a lay-in finish at 6:52 and Goessel beat the LR pressure to add two more 21-36, then Duerksen followed to close to 23-36, a mini 6-0 run. For every action there was an unequal and daunting reaction, however, as Garrison buried two more threes to lead 23-39. After Duerksen and Wuest put up two nice buckets, it was 27-43 and Goessel called time at 2:34. As the cheer team led the crowd in “Stand up with Bluebird pride” several Canton-Galva students could be seen cheering along – nice touch. This was a rock-solid quarter for the Bluebirds as Hiebert pulled up for a nifty 15 footer, then with 30 ticks left dropped in a 10 footer to end the 14-13 quarter 31-44. In this, the only quarter won by the Blue tonight, Goessel allowed two treys and one free throw while getting scoring from four different players -- Together as One!
Little River’s ball-handlers were able to kill the clock effectively with a motion offense despite a great 15 foot baseline hit from Hiebert and drive from Duerksen to close within 12, 35-47. At 37-51, Little River called time at 4:51. Hiebert and Duerksen both sat with 4 fouls each, but at 3:54 both came back in after Zogleman hit the front end of a 1-1. Duerksen fouled out at 2:53. Hiebert fouled out at 1:23. At that moment, with the score 38-58, both teams cleared their benches and Jake Wiens, Kacen Smith, Timothy Schrag, and Jacob Schrag were able to see time at the post-season level. Also on the roster but not in tonight was Caleb Burkholder. The game ended at 38-58.
Senior Jake Hiebert put up 8 tonight along with Junior Caiden Duerksen. Senior Nate Zogleman added 7 along with Junior Skyler Wuest. Zogleman was a bright light at the line, hitting 5 for 6. Senior Dawson Stutzman had a great night on the boards and contributed 4; Senior Luke Wiens scored first for the Bluebirds and finished with 2. Senior Eddie Gaeddert added two to round out the Bluebird scoring for the night. On the Bluebird roster, Sophomores Jake Wiens, Kacen Smith, Caleb Burkholder, and Juniors Timothy Schrag, Jacob Schrag also give hope for a strong Bluebird future.
Goessel had an outstanding season, finishing 14-7 and 8-1 in the Wheat State League behind Little River.
Thank you to coaches Curtis Guhr and Chad Lindeman for all your hard work this year!
Together as One!
Waiting in line this evening, we ran into Mr. Olander, whose son is a sophomore on the Little River team. Mr. Olander was on the Little River team as a freshman when Lonnie Hiebert played for the Bluebirds as a Senor. It’s a small world now with Jake Hiebert playing as a Senior as well.
If Little River wins this year’s basketball crown, they will join an elite group of schools who have won both the 8-man title and basketball title. Sometimes those groups of players are mutually exclusive. Kansas small school afficionados wondered how many schools have been able to win both the 8-man football crown as well as the 1A basketball title? A quick look at the KSHSAA web site for past football champions and basketball champions yielded this information since 1986:
2017 Hanover Div I Div II
2009 Hanover Div II
2004 Hanston Div II
1994 Kensington WSC Div II
1990 Almena-Northern Valley Div I
1989 Hanston Div II
1986 Almena-Northern Valley Div I
Perhaps going into years earlier than that there were many others. This list was broader than I expected. Goessel fans will note that during one of Goessel’s peak basketball period 1986-1990, three of these occurred.
Hanston defeated the Bluebirds in 1989 in the state basketball final . Goessel won 3rd place in 1987 and 1st place in 1988.