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Logan Goedken drives to the basket in front of Trey O’Neil, of Williamsburg.

At Vinton-Shellsburg Dec. 7, the Beckman boys’ basketball team decided to take charge early and blew to a 23-8 first-quarter advantage, eventually winning 65-24.

The Blazers held Vinton-Shellsburg to single-digit scoring in all four quarters, leading 36-14 at the half and 60-21 to start the continuous clock fourth.

Both Padraig Gallagher and Logan Goedken reached double figures for the team, with Gallagher getting 23, nine of them from the arc, and Goedken tallying 12, three from afar. Logan Burchard added nine, Cayden Gassmann seven (one trey), Ryan Burchard six, Eric Heinrichs, Trent Arens, Eli Kluesner and Aidan Wessels two.

Coach Michael Molony added, “This was a game we knew we had to play better than our last road game. I was very pleased with the entire team as we played very well on both ends. We continued to crank up the pressure on defense and rebounded very well. It was a performance we needed as the schedule strength really starts to ramp up the rest of the season. We still have a lot of improvement to make but are continuing to compete and battle through the early season questions every team faces.”

Other stats include: rebounds — Gallagher nine, Gassmann six, Heinrichs five, Goedken and Logan Burchard four, Arens two, Ryan Burchard, Kluesner and Max Oberbroeckling one; blocks — Goedken, Gassmann, Gallagher and Wessels one; steals — Ryan Burchard five, Goedken and Gassmannn three, Heinrichs two, Gallagher and Logan Burchard one; assists — Goedken 10, Gassmann three, Gallagher and Ryan Burchard two, Heinrichs, Wessels, Kluesner and Logan Burchard one. As a team, they shot 46.6% from the field, 46.2% from the line and had just nine turnovers.

As easy as the win was, the Blazers’ loss at home to Williamsburg Dec. 10, 61-54, was deceptively hard. It was the first loss to the team from the West division of the WaMaC in their last eight meetings.

The Raiders used a combination of height, rebounding and sharpshooter scoring to take down the Blazers, beginning with the first quarter. After Goedken gave the Blazers an early lead, 4-2, Williamsburg reeled off six straight from sophomore Derek Weisskopf that included a three to lead 8-4. Gallagher answered with his own long ball and it was 8-7, but the Raiders held a 13-9 lead at the break.

Gallagher hit again from the arc to cut that to 13-12 before the Raiders upped it to 18-12 with scoring from three different players. Goedken got another two back but Madox Doerhmann hit from the circle and Weisskopf completed a steal with a dunk to lead 23-14. Logan Burchard hit a longball but Raider Will DeSmet answered with back-to-back lay-ins and they led 27-21 at the half.

Ryan Burchard got both sides of a bonus to open the second half and added a bucket but the Raiders were on a running roll, with five different players hitting to build their lead to 41-28 after Logan Burchard drilled his second trey at the 1:42 mark. Arens hit a lay-in and Gallagher the back side of a bonus to bring them within 10, 41-31, by the quarter break.

The fourth quarter was an endless series of trips to the foul line, for both teams. Gallagher and Goedken both delivered threes before fouling out in the last minute, along with Ryan Burchard. The Raiders failed to take full advantage of their foul trouble, missing 7-of-11 in the last minutes. A trey from Wessels with 22 seconds showing made the final margin.

Molony commented, “We knew Williamsburg was going to put us in some tough situations size-wise that we haven’t really seen all year. From the start, we just couldn’t get the spark we needed to consistently sustain momentum on either end.

“I thought we battled through a lot of situations in the first half we haven’t really seen, which was something we expected as the Raiders are going to be playing very late in the 2A season. They really ramped up their defensive intensity plus rebounded significantly better than they had been three games into the season. We know we are going to have to figure that out because we are not going to be the tallest team on the floor most nights.

“This was a big learning experience for us and a game we feel like we could have played much better. The silver lining is how we battled and were able to cut their lead at times to two-possession games. We just couldn’t sustain those runs and put more pressure back on them. This is something that could be good for the team in the long run if we take the right lessons and continue to improve.”

Beckman’s leaders were: scoring — Goedken 21 (one), Gallagher 18 (three), Logan Burchard six (two), Ryan Burchard four, Wessels three (one), Arens two; rebounds — Gassmann and Gallagher six, Arens three, Goedken and Wessels two, Logan Burchard and Eli Kluesner one; total team 21; steals — Gassmann and Logan Burchard three, Gallagher two, Goedken and Wessels one; blocks — Goedken and Gallagher one; assists — Goedken five, Gassmann two, Wessels and Arens one.