EUCLID — Kyle Goessler started his Brunswick career hearing a group of home fans do the sing-song chant “He’s a freshman” almost every time he drained one of his 39 3-pointers that season.
Friday night, those same fans could have been chanting, “He’s the greatest.”
In the last regular-season game of his career, Goessler became the top scorer in Brunswick history, putting on the greatest show of his career in a 40-point night that left the Blue Devils just shy of upsetting Euclid, which won 72-70 in Greater Cleveland Conference action on a Garvin Clarke layup with 0.8 seconds left.
“He’s a great kid, a great leader, a great role model for our program,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said.
Just 11 seconds into the second quarter, Goessler drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to push his career point total to 1,367, two more than Ryan Badowski, who set the career mark in 2014. The buzzer sounded, the announcer told the crowd of the achievement and the senior got congratulations from teammates and a hug from Mackey while the crowd rose to a standing ovation.
“It was nice. It was a little surreal,” Goessler said, recalling his time as a youth ballboy with the team and later being around Badowski’s teams. “I remember watching Ryan play, and he’s done a lot for me. I’d like to thank him for that, and thank all of my coaches and teammates.”
Goessler became the third Brunswick player in the past decade to rewrite the record books. Tyler Ferrell broke the scoring record in 2010 with 1,136 points before Badowski and now Goessler has topped it.
“Those three kids played a lot of basketball,” said Mackey, the coach at Brunswick for all three. “They work hard, they’re all very smart kids and they had great work ethics on the court. They put in the time, in respect to the game, in respect to their teammates. You don’t become a scoring leader by just showing up.”
Three minutes after the game was stopped, Goessler drained a jumper while drifting from right to left through the lane to give him 12 points on the night, passing Chatham’s Laurence Roberts (1,370 points) for fourth place on the Medina County list.
By the end of the night, Goessler had pushed his career total to 1,400 points — 78 shy of Highland’s Brogan Scott for third place behind fellow Hornets Rob Wininger (1,842) and Brad Reusch (1,525).
“In my opinion, he’s the best player in the league,” Mackey said of Goessler. “As a freshman, he was a spot-up guy. As a sophomore and junior he developed a pull-up game that’s one of the best I’ve seen. And this year we moved him to the point, so he had to change positions and he’s done a phenomenal job.”
Moving up the county scoring leaderboard was just the first act, though. The ride to his career-high 40 points had fans on both sides of the stands hollering and screaming along the way.
Euclid closed the first half on a 14-2 run to grab a 17-point lead despite 16 points from Goessler. Slowly, though, Brunswick clawed into the game in the third quarter. Trevor Mackey (12 points) hit a pair of 3-pointers, and threes by Max Ferrell and Tre Massey (15 points) capped a 12-2 run that cut the deficit to nine.
After another Mackey three, Goessler got his first points of the second half with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, on a 3-pointer from the wing. Jumpers by Massey and Goessler got Brunswick within seven entering the fourth quarter.
“The shots started falling,” Goessler said. “The intensity in the game picked up, Trevor (Mackey) hit two huge threes and we kept getting stops.”
Goessler scored 19 of his team’s 21 points in the final quarter, twice tying the game, although Brunswick never got the lead.
Bang, 3-pointer. Bang, 3-pointer. Bang, foul-line jumper. Brunswick was within three with 5:06 to go, but Joe Mackey called timeout to give Goessler a breather. He played all 32 minutes.
“Don’t let him get the ball!” Euclid fans implored, but bang, another 3-pointer to tie the game at 60, the first tie since 4-4. Brunswick fans had found their voices and Euclid fans were screaming at their defense to somehow stay with the red-haired sharpshooter.
The Panthers pushed the lead back to six on a pair of layups and two technical free throws after Joe Mackey argued a no-call on a rebound under Euclid’s basket, but then it was Goessler time again.
Bang, a strong drive down the lane, drawing a foul, hitting both free throws.
Clang, the only miss of the fourth quarter, as Goessler got open on an inbounds play and, with Euclid fans groaning as the ball left his hands, hit back iron. But the rebound went to Brunswick and Massey scored on a spinning jumper, making it 66-64 Euclid with 1:01 left.
After Euclid’s Reginald Priah (20 points) hit both ends of the one-and-one with 31 seconds left to make it 68-64, Goessler stepped back off a screen and drilled a deep 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
“He’s pretty good, isn’t he?” one person near the scorer’s table said to another.
Euclid’s Ke’Saun Key scored on a layup with 11 seconds left, and Euclid fouled away with fouls to give. But Goessler worked to get just open enough off an inbounds play and was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with six seconds left.
Panthers fans roared, stomped their feet and yelled for the senior to miss as Euclid players raised their arms for the crowd to get louder, but Goessler hit the first two. Euclid called timeout, but Goessler came back out and swished the third shot to tie the game at 70.
“I’ve been shooting free throws in practice every day, so it’s muscle memory at this point, but I have to admit I was a little nervous,” he said. “But I knew my teammates had my back.”
“To have to go up and make three free throws when you’ve been out there all game and you’re physically tired and mentally exhausted,” Joe Mackey said, “I think we take that for granted. We don’t get how tough that is. But none of us on the bench had any doubt he’d make them.”
Euclid took the ball out of bounds and Clarke raced down the floor, slicing through the lane and laying the ball in just before the buzzer sounded to give the Panthers the win.
“That second half, we’ll use that momentum to carry into the tournament,” Goessler said, settling into a comfort zone while talking about team accomplishments and goals. “That’s a really, really good Euclid team, and we beat them in the second half. Now it’s time for us to get on a tournament run and finish this year right.”
Brayden Hamilton scored all 19 of his points in the first half as Brunswick took an 11-point lead and held off Euclid 64-59 in the junior varsity game. Marquis Barnett (13), Joe Hager (11) and Quintyn McKinley (10) also scored in double figures for the Blue Devils. Steven Key led all scorers with 30 for Euclid.
Contact Chris Freeman at email@example.com.
Euclid 72, Brunswick 70
BRUNSWICK 12 15 22 21 — 70
EUCLID 19 25 12 16 — 72
Brunswick — Tre Massey 6-0-15, Max Ferrell 1-0-3, Josh Stacho 0-0-0, Trevor Mackey 4-1-12, Kyle Goessler 12-9-40, J.C. Asturi 0-0-0, Jeff Buttitta 0-0-0, Joe Hunter 0-0-0, Brayden Hamilton 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-10-70.
Euclid — Tyrese Duckworth 3-0-6, Ezel Oliver 3-0-8, Reginald Watts 0-0-0, Cody Rodgers 0-0-0, Latrayal Alexander-Davis 3-0-7, Ke’Saun Key 1-2-4, Reginald Priah 7-4-21, Octavious Hardy 2-0-4, Mario Lacy 5-0-10, Garvin Clarke 5-2-12. TOTALS: 29-8-72.
3-point goals — Goessler 7, Massey 3, Mackey 3, Ferrell, Priah 3, Oliver 2, Alexander-Davis. Rebounds — Brunswick 21 (Goessler, Stacho 5), Euclid 31 (Lacy 10). Assists — Brunswick 7 (Goessler, Stacho, Ferrell 2), Euclid 11 (Watts, Clarke 3). Records — Brunswick (10-12, 6-8), Euclid (15-7, 10-4). Junior varsity — Brunswick 64, Euclid 59.