Marion Co. Sunflower Showdown
Goessel Guys Basketball – Lost Springs / Centre Cougars @ Goessel January 31, 2023
Sunflower Showdown night in Kansas, snuggled on a frigid night between Kansas Day and Groundhog Day. Tonight’s tilt between Goessel and Lost Spring/Centre may have had 2nd billing to another game happening simultaneously on ESPN, but the entertainment in Goessel HS Field House was rated Blue Ribbon. Goessel’s Bluebirds took on the Cougars, were never behind tonight, won the first three quarters, led 29-18 at the half and came away with a 54-34 win. Goessel’s Caleb Burkholder emerged as the Cougar tamer tonight, putting up 18 and most assuredly notching a double double on the boards with incredible strength underneath.
Burkholder played in beast mode out of the chute tonight, scoring off the break then catching over the top for two more to go up 4-0. At 5:37, the Cougars’ Spohn cajoled one in but down the floor Burkholder caught a carom and followed for two more. Javin Schmidt, starting tonight, found the bank open, letting one fly from somewhere east of the Lincoln Perk. Never bet against Javin. 9-2. Jake Wiens caught a lateral pass, went to the hoop faster than you could say Idleman, and laid in a perfect two. Noah Schrag led many Bluebird attacks and marches up the floor tonight, nearly getting the finish +1 to lead 13-4. Jack Nickel, starting tonight, showed big in the middle as Goessel attempted to shut down the Cougar penetrations. The first quarter finished 14-8.
It was officials’ appreciation week recognition night and Goessel took the opportunity to thank our officials this evening with a picture with both the girls’ and guys’ teams. Burkholder went hard to the hoop twice and was fouled, hitting 2 of 4. Centre crept back in it 16-14 until at 4:55, Wiens paused, set, and put up a monster trey so perfect Stephen Curry sent a personal Tweet saying: Wiens Up! Moments later, the Cougars’ Spohn hit the only trey of the night for the visitors to stay at 22-17. Not to be outdone Wiens popped another cool as ice trey at 2:50 to go up 25-17. To close down the quarter, in an absolute Zoobilee scrum, Burkholder raced around at least two circles, dribbled both clockwise and counterclockwise, went down the lane and pulled up with Cougars all over him for the best finish of the night. One can only say “he found a way.” 29-18.
Out of the break, Schrag buried one from the corner just inches from Maynard Knepp, who fans were pretty sure said something colorful in Pa. Dutch. On defense, Joey Lapp simply extended, grabbed the ball from the point guard, and took it down to score faster than a cheetah chased by a cougar. Javin Schmidt was credited with a nifty assist feed to Nickel, then Schrag got another conversion off turnover to fall. Timeout Centre 4:11 38-19. Goessel cheer led the assembled Bluebird nation in “Let’s get fired up!” Burkholder brought the crowd to their feet with some sort of Runner/EuroStep/Canadian thing to lead 40-21, then caught the inbounds pass, went up and was fouled by the Cougar Knepp (his 4th) who had to sit. Once more, inside and unstoppable, #12 stopped and popped for two more to lead 44-21.
Cheerleaders brought the crowd to their feet with “Bluebird Pride” and the Cougars were now on their heels. Schrag found the range with yet another long range trey, this one so perfect it somehow signaled all the deer in SW Marion County to begin migrating NE toward Centre. Joey Lapp also buried one from near the Bluebird’s beak, causing the sound system to spontaneously break out in Wabash Cannonball, then #14 found the range again on a 10 footer, Nickel buried two charities and this one was in the record books 54-34. Burkholder led all scorers with 18 huge points and a monster collection of boards. Schrag and Lapp each put up 10, Wiens scored 8, Nickel 5 and Schmidt 3. Also in for Goessel were: Grant Bryant, Koy Smith, Jake Flaming, Eli Boden, and Royser Duran. -Karl BrubakerKarl Brubaker