The Lions Sleep Tonight
Goessel Guys Basketball – Central Christian Academy (Wichita) @ Goessel February 17, 2023
On Homecoming night 2023, Goessel used “wily cheetah” mode to out-match the visiting Central Christian Academy (Wichita) Lions. The Bluebirds used 14-0 runs in the early going, a 16-2 run in the middle and 15-0 run late to put this one in the deep freeze. Paced by point guard Noah Schrag, hard nosed inside play from Caleb Burkholder and deadly shooting from Sophomore Koy Smith, the Bluebirds were never behind in this one against the out-matched visitors. Likely, the Lions will sleep well tonight after sustaining the 67-25 safari expedition. Seniors Jake Wiens, Caleb Burkholder, Joey Lapp, and Grant Bryant were especially recognized along with statistician Kacen Smith and cheer team members Emma Schroeder, Mallory Schroeder, Rylee Walker and Jasmine Woelk.
Goessel brought back the tradition of homecoming royalty this year, with Seniors Sam, Sarah, Ronan, Mallory, Patrick, Emma, Caleb and Rylee chosen as potential King and Queen. Supporting the court were juniors Javin and Alyson, Sophomores Koy and Livie, and Freshmen Levi and Delaney. Members of the Class of 2034, Connor and Ember, were chosen as junior attendants. Congratulations to Caleb Burkholder and Rylee Walker, chosen as 2023 homecoming King and Queen. Larry and Mary Lindeman were chosen as 2023 Fantastic Fans.
Out of the chute, the Bluebird pressure in the backcourt led to several close in deliveries for a 8-0 lead. The Lions roared back to 8-6, before the Bluebird pressure tamed the beast on finishes from Lapp, Jake Wiens, and an absolutely sensational bounce feed from Grant Bryant to Jack Nickel. With 15 ticks left Wiens let one go without any fist pump whatsoever and it finished so smooth the evening star was reported to have turned azure blue momentarily. In the 2nd, the Bluebirds pushed patiently looking for openings in the Lion zone. Smith found himself tucked in the NE corner, within breathing space of the cheer team, and slam-dunked one in from deep downtown to lead 22-6. Goessel again used the generous shot clock to their advantage (oh wait there is no shot clock) until Burkholder punched hard in the paint for 2, Nickel rejected one all the way to Woody Brook, then Koy let one loose that was so smooth his team roping mates all joined in some rodeo yell that even took the assembled student section by surprise. Could be the new Bluebird yell. Now on a roll, with 1:30 left in the half, Lapp stepped, set and let fly his own magnificent trey to take it to 30-14, this one so lovely the Walking Tacos from the concession stand started to actually run. The Bluebirds were like a pack of wolves on the hunt for lion to close the half, with back to back to back forays from Burkholder and Lapp to finish the quarter 20-8 and leave it at 37-14.
After yet another exquisite “nothing but net” trey from Smith, sponsors began clamoring for knowledge as to what this young man ate for breakfast this morning. The Lions bellowed with a 7-0 run, but Lapp came back with a solid punch in, then Schrag dumped a nice assist to a waiting Wiens for a great break finish and Schrag caught a giant arc-across pass in the corner, leaving Maynard Knepp shaking his head in awe, uttering exclamatory Pennsylvania Dutch and comparing the play to a Chiefs red zone call. Something about Corn Dog left. 47-21. After the cheer team led in “Mighty Bluebird Beat” Burkholder led the charge on the break, was fouled +1 with an assist from Smith, Lapp got two more with a finish of his own, and then Jake Flaming put the Sports Center bounce pass of the week on the floor to a streaking Jack Nickel for a smooth as silk close. Fans debated for hours after whether it was even a no-look or not. After the 17-7 third quarter it was 54-21.
In running clock in the 4th, Goessel was able to put 13 more points on the board from Lapp, Schrag, Smith and Flaming. Smith treated the fans to #4 and #5 of his three point collection for the night, toasting one in from so far out the assembled Bluebird bench looked like a Big 12 team bench upsetting their league rival. To finish this one out, Eli Boden went to the line and delivered (with unique style points) two exquisite charities to leave the final score at 67-25.
Sophomore Koy Smith likes team roping rodeo; tonight’s game brings him front and center as a key Bluebird player to watch going forward for taming Lions as well. He put up 17 tonight, including 5 huge treys that brought the house and huge smiles to friends and family. Caleb Burkholder pushed hard inside for 14, was nearly perfect from the stripe (6 for 7), and carried the Bluebirds with tough defensive and rebounding effort. Joey Lapp got off to a slow start, but put up10 points at critical junctures, especially when the Bluebirds needed a jolt to get back in rhythm. Jake Wiens showed as Mr. Steady, hitting critical buckets, fearless in the paint, and playing larger than life. Jake finished with 9 tonight. Noah Schrag quarterbacked and got the Blue down the floor by seeming leaps and broad bounds, finishing with 7. 6’3” Sophomore Jack Nickel moved well tonight, noticeably going after loose balls and notching several blocks in addition to pulling key board and scoring 6. Jake Flaming and Eli Boden were in for two apiece; also in for Goessel were Grant Bryant, providing key ball-handling/defense and hands in the paint, as well as Royser Duran.
Goessel has one more regular season game on Tuesday at Udall. Goessel will host a 1A substate this year as Solomon’s gym is not available yet after sustaining water damage this winter. It appears as of today that the #5 Bluebirds will face #4 Solomon in the initial sub-state contest with the winner to take on the #1 seed. Best wishes Bluebirds!