By William

GOESSEL – After beating Solomon on Monday in the first round of the Class 1A regionals, the Elyria boys basketball team hoped to make another step forward in their quest for the state tournament on Thursday when they tangled with the regional second-seed Goessel on their home court. It did not go as planned and despite a valiant comeback in the second half, the Eagles fell short and lost 37-32.

Goessel powered out to a 6-0 run to start the game and while the Eagles tried to get back in the game they still trailed by three, 10-7 at the end of the first quarter before stumbling hard in the second quarter and allowing Goessel to push their advantage out to 10 points at 21-11 going into the halftime break.

Coming out of the break, the Eagles outscored Goessel 8-6 in the third and 13-10 in the final eight minutes of play, enough to give the home team a scare but not enough to gain the win, closing the 2019-20 season for Elyria with a final five-point loss.

“We knew it was going to be tough playing Goessel on their homecourt and could not afford to let them get a lead,” noted Eagles Head Coach Zach Goodrich. “They started out the game with a six to zero run and we could never recover. I believe the closest we were able to get after that initial punch was four points. Coach Curtis Guhr of Goessel has done a fantastic job with his group of boys, and they are putting together a solid run. We will be rooting for Little River and Goessel.”

Neither team dominated in any of the stats though Elyria Christian did hit five three-pointers to none for Goessel, though overall Goessel had six more made field goals in the game and connected on 45% of their two-point shots while the Eagles only made 24%. Turnovers also hurt the Eagle offense as they gave the ball up 18 times.

Jackson Stone closed out his Eagle career in high fashion as he led the team with 13 points while also gathering in four rebounds and blocking a shot. Bret Anderson had the most rebounds with eight while Josef Hobson led the team in steals with three.

Coach Goodrich continued his reflections on the game by talking about the team and the game, saying, “For us it has never been easy when a season comes to an end. I felt that we did not play our best, or up to our potential early in the game. It has been that way a few times this season. We struggled putting two halves together. Jackson (Stone) was our only player in double figures and against Goessel, we needed a few more players in double figures if we wanted an opportunity to come out with a victory. Turnovers hurt us, we had a few that led to some easy baskets for Goessel. IN a game when your shots are not falling, you have to limit easy baskets for the other team and that was something that did not happen for us.”

Concluding his game reflections, Coach Goodrich added, “I was proud of the boys and their fight while not giving up once we got down ten in the fourth quarter. We were able to cut the lead down to four in the final two minutes and had a shot that could have cut the lead to one with a little more than a minute left to play. It did not fall and after that it was tough to close the gap. It was a great growing season for this Elyria team, learning how to overcome some adversity from injuries and illnesses throughout the season. I really enjoyed this group and unfortunately it has to come to an end. We will miss our seniors, Jackson Stone and Gage Schneider. We appreciate their effort and leadership this season.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES? With the loss the Eagles close out their 2019-20 season with a 14-8 record. The Eagles have much to look forward to next season as they only lose two seniors, Jackson Stone and Gage Schneider, from the team and will return players such as Josef Hobson, Zach Stucky, Ben Unruh, Bret Anderson, Kevan Wiggers and Kaden Aroum.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES at Goessel – Class 1A Regionals:

SCORING:                    1          2          3          4          FINAL

ELYRIA EAGLES            7          4          8          13        = 32

Goessel                        10        11        6          10        = 37

TEAM STATS:              ELYRIA EAGLES            Goessel

Shooting                      11-38 (29%)                 17-43 (39%)

3-Pointers                    5-13 (38%)                   0-5 (0%)

Free Throws                5-8 (62%)                     3-6 (50%)

Rebounds                    30                                27

Assists                          6                                  11

Turnovers                    16                                13

Steals                           7                                  9

Blocked Shots              1                                  6

Personal Fouls             11                                14

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (32 total points): Jackson Stone – 13; Ben Unruh – 6; Josef Hobson – 5; Bret Anderson – 5; Zach Stucky – 3.

Three-Pointers Made (5): Jackson Stone, Ben Unruh – 2; Josef Hobson – 1.

Rebound Leaders: Bret Anderson – 8; Jackson Stone – 4; Josef Hobson, Gage Schneider – 3.

Assists Leader: Zach Stucky, Josef Hobson – 2.

Leader in Steals: Josef Hobson -3; Bret Anderson – 2.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Jackson Stone – 1.

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)

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