The Goshen College men’s basketball team had varying results this past weekend in the Best Western Hoopfest hosted at Gunden Gymnasium.
The Leafs (1-2) started the weekend on a hot note by posting a 75-58 victory against Lourdes University (1-1). Conner Funkhouser, a junior, created the spark for the Leafs throughout the contest by scoring 12 of his team-high 21 points off the bench.
Funkhouser finished the contest shooting 8-for-12 from the field, while adding three of the team’s five three-point field goals. Xavier Newson, a senior, added 16 points in just 19 minutes. Billy Geschke, a junior, also reached double digits with 11 in his first contest in a year since recovering from a torn ACL.
The Leafs finished the contest shooting 47 percent from the floor while holding Lourdes to just 40 percent and a meager 3-for-18 from the three-point line.
Kevin Phillips, a senior, and Alhassan Barie, a sophomore, set the tone defensively for the Leafs by controlling the boards with six rebounds apiece. Phillips and Kody Chandler, a junior, each finished the contest with three steals, while Phillips was the lone player for the Leafs to register a block, finishing the game with two.
The game started in a standstill for both teams, before GC finished the half on a 19-8 run, including a six point run to close out the frame. The second half provided much of the same story with the Grey Wolves never reaching a single digit deficit. The Leafs once again caught fire late in the half by finishing the contest on a 19-5 run with just four minutes remaining.
The second and final game for the Leafs in the Best Western Hoopfest on Saturday afternoon ended in an ironic fashion for both GC and Ohio Christian University. The teams posted identical shooting performances, finishing the contest 31-for-56. The game ended in an 88-80 finish in favor of the Trailblazers by way of the three-point line.
The Trailblazers finished the afternoon shooting 16-for-31 from behind the arc to the Leafs 7-for-16. The Trailblazers assisted on 27 of their 31 field goals.
The game remained close throughout most of the first half until the Trailblazers extended their lead to double digits with just three minutes left and ended the frame with a 37-28 lead. The second half provided GC with a glimpse of hope as the Leafs inched back to bring the contest back to a virtual deadlock throughout much of the half. The Trailblazers’ quick and efficient shooting however, put the Leafs away late.
Geschke and Newson led Goshen with 19 points apiece. Christian Grider, a junior, added 10 for the GC attack.
The GC men return to action Thursday night at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.