Sub-state champion Goessel kicks Bulldogs 70-64

The Goessel High School boys basketball team started Saturday night
with a 5-0 run and did not trail on the way to a 70-64 ouster of Pretty
Prairie in the final round of the Emporia 1A substate championship
tournament. The Bluebirds lead by as many as seven in the first
quarter, with Niko Herman's 3-pointer putting GHS out front, 16-9. The
Bulldogs rallied to force a 23-23 tie on Hunter Pittman's fast break
spin-o-rama layup, but Goessel answered with anothe 5-0 run?powered by
Craig Banman's right wing trey that forced a Pretty Prairie timeout
with 1:50 left in the first half. GHS carried a 33-30 lead into the
break and dynamited their opponent's bridge to the state tournament
with a 21-point third quarter.

Travis Fensky hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the period, and
Goessel's offense connected on layups in rapid succession to claim a
51-39 lead midway through. Austin Unruh scored virtually uncontested
off an inbounds set, then nailed a short jumper set up by Banman's
assist to make it 54-43 through three quarters.

The Bulldogs in desperation brought variations of high-pressure defense
throughout the fourth quarter, but could not break the Bluebirds. They
trailed by a 62-52 margin with 2:22 left, but in the final minutes
succeeded in drawing four quick Goessel fouls and hit six free throws
in 26 seconds of clock time. Banman picked up his fourth personal with
1:41 to go, but stayed aggressive enough to get GHS into the
double-bonus with 1:28 left. He nailed both throws to re-up the
Bluebirds lead to six.

Bristol Broce scored a Bulldogs layup to chop it back to four, but
Unruh iced it with foul shots after he retrieved a loose
ball?preventing a near-turnover?with 1:05 left. The Bulldogs kept it
interesting to final possession, with Ryan Chambers hitting a layup and
Broce knocking down a mid-range jumper on the right wing side with 23
seconds left. But Goessel answered each bucket with free throws, and
kept Pretty Prairie at a 4-point arm's length throughout the final
minute.

Unruh posted 21 points for the second consecutive night?his 21-12
double-double lifted GHS to a 52-48 win in the semifinal Friday?and was
supported by 14 points from Weston Hiebert, 11 from Fensky and 10 from
Banman. Goessel outscored Pretty Prairie 21-12 at the foul line,
outchancing the Bulldogs 38-18 and converting 55 percent. Pretty
Prairie's top scorer was 6-8 tower Joe Lampe, who had 13 points.

Against Hartford, Goessel led 25-16 at halftime despite shooting under
40 percent before intermission. GHS shot 53 percent from the field
after the intermission and drained 11 of 21 free throws to hold on for
the win. The Bluebirds limited Hartford to 1-for-10 from 3-point range
in the first half, and allowed just four makes on 19 Hartford 3-point
tries in the game.

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