Sacred Heart boys’ basketball Coach Steve Goodwin was just one win away from his second Final Four as a high school basketball coach.
Goodwin, who just completed his 15th season as the Gremlins’ head coach, took his Class 1 Linn team to the Final Four 16 years ago before coming to Sedalia to take over the Gremlin program.
A 76-66 loss to undefeated West Platte Saturday in the Class 2 state quarterfinals, kept the Gremlins from advancing to the Final Four.
Sacred Heart has never made the Final Four in boys basketball and had not been to the state quarterfinals since 1973.
West Platte advanced to the Class 2 Final Four this weekend at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Sacred Heart closed out its season with a 25-5 record.
All Kaysinger Conference selection Garrett Strange and freshman teammate Riley Simmons each tied for team-high scoring honors in Saturday’s loss with 17 points each.
Prognosticators didn’t expect much from the Gremlins this season after their entire starting five graduated from last year’s district championship team.
Starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior, this year’s team won their first nine before losing to Higginsville in the championship game of the Slater Tournament. Then came a loss to eventual Kaysinger Conference champion Cole Camp.
Sacred Heart suffered an unexpected loss to Warsaw at Warsaw. They did not lose again until the championship game of the Kaysinger Conference Tournament with a 59-49 loss to Cole Camp.
The Gremlins went on to win the Class 2 District 14 at Sweet Springs, downing Santa Fe in the title game, then beat Skyline 80-59 in the Class 2 sectionals Thursday at Clinton, then fell to undefeated West Platte in the quarterfinals.
During the season, Sacred Heart took second at the Slater Tournament, second in the Kaysinger Conference regular season and tournament and won the district and sectional titles.
Malik Hackett, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Marshall, was a big help in making the Gremlins a winner. Both he and Strange were named to the first-team All Conference team and Clint Spangler made Honorable Mention All Conference.
Instead of losing all five to graduation, the Gremlins will return their entire squad next year.
Shown in the photo, front row left to right are: Chase Lyles, Riley Simmons, Garrett Strange, Clint Spangler, Charlie Wendt. Second Row – Sho Saito, Brenden Volcko, Chris Mergen, Jimmy Villalobos, Shayan Shaffiey. Third Row – Will Prenger, Mason Kelchner, Malik Hackett, Kolin Brace, Chance Spangler. Fourth Row – Adrian Gonzalez, Keyaire Marshall, Matthew Halsell, Asa Wilt, Ben Smeltzer.