The Goessel High School basketball team dominated when it mattered
most Thursday night at Hays, rallying to overcome a five point deficit
in the final eight minutes of its 49-45 first round upset victory over
second-seeded Thunder Ridge. The Bluebirds took a 15-9 lead off of the
opening tip, but trailed 24-22 at halftime. Thunder won the race to 40
by scoring 16 points in the third quarter, but could not hold off
Weston Hiebert (18 points), Austin Unruh (11) and Craig Banman (9). The
Bluebirds 3-point shooters?Niko Herman (5), Travis Fensky (3) and
Kendall Voth (3)?helped offset Thunder Ridge's 6-for-11 showing from
3-point range, and, perhaps more importantly, the GHS guards silenced the
Thunder bombers in the final frame to spark a decisive 14-5 run.
Goessel's defense slowed speedy guard Michael Yoxall, who led Thunder Ridge with 12 points, and all but stopped 6-5 post player Jordan Kirk (6 points).
The Bluebirds (21-5) will meet No. 3 Hanover (25-0) at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Hanover wiped out sixth seed Macksville 64-56 to reach the semifinal.
On the other side of the bracket, Centralia (20-6) pulled out an
eight-over-one upset 69-61 versus top-seeded Crest. Centralia's
semifinal will be played against No. 4 Quinter (25-1) at 4:45 Friday.