Goessel girls prepare for impact

With seven seniors on the roster, an experienced Bluebird squad will take the court for the Goessel girls’ basketball team this season.

“We are senior heavy and will look to our seniors for leadership on and off the court,” said 11th-year coach Ryan Hoopes. “Although senior heavy, we will also have a number of girls competing for playing time and capable of making an impact.”

The Bluebirds return 90 percent of their scoring from last year’s 19-4 squad that lost by three to Rural Vista in the Class 1A, Divi­sion I sub-state tournament finals hosted by Goessel.

Returning to lead the campaign are three returning senior starters.

Eden Hiebert, a 6-foot point guard, was named first team All-Wheat State League recognition and was a second team all-state selection a year ago.

“Eden is a great ball handler (and) has been our starting point guard since she was a freshman,” Hoopes said. “Her ability to push the ball and see the floor is a great asset for us. She is also a great defender and shooter/scorer.”

Brittney Hiebert, a 5-11 guard/post, earned first team all-league honors and was an honorable mention all-state pick last year.

“Brittney is an amazing athlete,” Hoopes said. “She can play inside and out. She is a strong defender and scorer.”

Kara Burkholder, a 5-6 guard, is Goessel’s third returning starter.

“Kara is a strong guard with an amazing work ethic and attitude on and off the court,” Hoopes said. “She could play a large role for us this year.”

Additional returning letter-winners are: seniors Abby Hannon (5-2, guard) and Leah Booton (5-11, post), and juniors Savanna Wuest (5-6, guard) and Stephany Meyer (6-0, post).

Goessel was a perfect 8-0 in Wheat State League games a year ago, and Hoopes projects his team to be in contention at the top of league play, along with Rural Vista and Little River.

The Bluebirds will move up to Class 2A competition this year, providing opportunity for new postseason challenges, Hoopes said.

“We are skilled enough to make a run at 2A state,” he said. “Toughness and leadership on the court will be a key for our success this year.”

Goessel will travel to Inman Friday to start the 2017 season.