Bluebirds Fall for Solomon
Goessel Basketball – Solomon @ Goessel January 6, 2023
Goessel’s creative playmaking in the first half tonight faltered against a hard nosed defensive Gorilla effort in the 2nd. The Bluebirds knew coming in that play-maker Junior Spencer Coup would be a handful and quick step penetrations against Goessel’s defenses brought untold success for the Gorillas. Coup put up 25 tonight, mostly on layups and likely had double digit assists as well. The Bluebirds maintained the lead until early in the 2nd half, but a 9-0 Solomon run at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th put this one away. Solomon finished this Wheat State League contest 44-51.
Joey Lapp started with a nice roll inside, then Caleb Burkholder cavorted for two more hard nosed points. Noah Schrag ignited the assembled Goessel nation with a spectacular high pitch roll off the glass to lead 6-2, then Grant Bryant picked a pocket and was off to the races 8-2. Schrag scored on yet another flying runner and the entertaining first quarter was punctuated with a Lapp NBA follow. With 6 seconds left, Schrag buried one from close to the family’s biggest corn bin, but in a shocker the bearded one Finnegan smacked a 30 foot prayer in from near the Bluebird band to keep it at 14-11.
At 7:00 Schrag connected with a long trey that left a trail of steam passing through the net. Fans attending tonight’s game thought of the visitors’ gym which was inundated with over 350,000 gallons of water from a pipe break during the recent cold spell and is being totally replaced now. Jake Wiens was temporarily stopped on the perimeter, paused, put on the football pads and jetted to the hoop for a great finish. Moments later Burkholder followed his own miss to lead 21-15, one of several 6 point leads tonight. Wiens was fouled on another penetration and drained both charities, then Schrag led a break that left jaws dropping with an absolutely delightful Euro Step reverse lay in for Goessel’s biggest lead of the night 25-18. Goessel got a nice stop on #2, but the Gorillas thumped their chests and came back 25-24, with an attempted long trey at the buzzer from Coup clanging off with Goessel up 26-24.
Solomon took its first lead of the night at 6:13 on buckets from Duran and Coup. Bryant put up a huge trey to bring it back to 29-31 and Schrag tied it again with two charities. Schrag drove the lane, pivoted and stopped and popped from 8 feet to regain the 33-31 lead. Moments later, Lapp set and delivered from way down Cheyenne Road to go up 36-33, then was able to convert a steal to a lay in for the last Goessel lead of the night 38-35. On efforts from Duran and Krause, the Gorillas retook the lead (there were three lead change tonight) for good to close the 3rd 38-40. The Gorillas had won the key third quarter 12-16. It was time for the student section roller coaster, this time led by Cheyenne Sawyer !
Solomon continued its 9-0 run into the 4th quarter, leading by 6 at 38-44. Time out Goessel 5:18. Goessel cheer led the crowd in “Mighty Bluebird Beat” and fouls stood at Goessel 1 Solomon 4. The Bluebirds fought back on tremendous effort from Bryant with a picture perfect 8 footer at 4:44, a trick slide move in the paint from Lapp, got Jack Nickel to the line inside but he could not convert to tie and it was 42-44. Moments later at the other end, Coup was contested on the drive and hit the dagger lay in +1, then converted a coast to coast run to take the lead to 42-49 with time running out. Solomon was able to kill the clock by dribbling it out and getting fouled with the Bluebirds needing 6 fouls get the visitors to the line. Finally in the one and one, the Gorillas went 2 for 5 from the line but it was too late. Lapp hit a runner to leave it at 44-51. Schrag led Goessel with 15, Lapp 13, Bryant 9, Wiens 5, and Burkholder 2. Also in for Goessel were: Koy Smith, Jack Nickel, and Javin Schmidt.