Goessel High School hit a brick wall on the road to a state playoff berth when both the boys’ and girls’ teams took on powerful squads from Centralia in the semifinal games of their respective Class 1A sub-state tournament in Clay Center.
Both Goessel teams entered the contest with identical 13-10 records, while Centralia boys were undefeated at 23-0 and the girls were right behind at 22-1.
The Goessel boys played with the Panthers most of the game, but lost, 70-63. The Bluebirds actually led at the first break, 18-17, but trailed 34-27 by intermission. Centralia upped the lead to 10 after three quarters, 51-41.
The Bluebirds narrowed the gap in the final frame, but could not catch their top-ranked opponents.
Jeremy Voth led the Bluebird attack with 20 points. Jesse Goertzen added 16 points, including five 3-pointers, Kent Peters scored 13 and Clinton Plenert 12.
The Goessel girls, meanwhile, stayed close early, but the Panthers pulled away in the second half and beat the Bluebirds, 74-52.
Goessel trailed only by four points after one quarter, 15-11, and five points at intermission, 29-24. By the end of the third quarter, Centralia had built a solid 52-36 lead.
Tara Goerzen led Goessel with 21 points and teammate Melinda Stucky added 17.