Girls Basketball: Goodhue dominates to win tourney title
It may have been just the second game of the season, but Goodhue’s coaches had a goal for the team on Saturday: finish.
On Friday, Goodhue let River Falls stay in the game longer than the Wildcats anticipated. So, in Saturday’s Red Wing Tip-Off Tournament championship game against Waseca, Goodhue wanted to take care of business.
“When we were in the locker room (at halftime), the coaches were saying, ‘No letups like yesterday,’” said Wildcats forward Shelby Hinsch.
“It was nice to see that we didn’t let up.”
Goodhue showed its killer instinct by opening the second half on a 21-0 run, easily clinching the Tip-Off Tournament title with a 64-39 victory at Red Wing High School.
“We were very happy getting the win (on Friday), and we’re thrilled today with how sharp and balanced we were,” said Wildcats’ head coach Josh Wieme. “It certainly doesn’t mean we’ve made it as a team, but we’re getting there.”
And it was that balance that had Wieme so excited after Saturday’s win. Against River Falls on Friday, Goodhue leaned heavily on seniors Mikayla Miller and Kali Ryan, who combined for 50 points. But against the Bluejays, four players scored nine or more points. Miller led the way with 19 points, Megan Ryan chipped in with 11, and Michelle Hadler and Hinsch each finished with nine.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field, including 54 percent on 2-pointers.
“It was really good to know that everyone was a threat offensively,” said Hinsch, who also had five rebounds and four assists.
And the high-pressure defense that has become a hallmark for Goodhue was on a roll Saturday, holding Waseca without a double-digit scorer. With the Wildcats leading 34-19 at halftime, the Bluejays would not score until Mikayla Rolling got a fast break layup against Goodhue’s backups with 9 minutes, 11 seconds remaining.
“We played kind of a zone press in the first half and built our lead with that,” Wieme said. “Our kids were all over the place and that really seemed to frustrate them. It let directly to some layups for us, and that pressure was able to not only distract them at the half court, but also in the front court.”
Hinsch added, “When we did our full-court man, they crumbled. We worked on flustering their guards and we were able to get some steals off of that.”
On Tuesday, the Wildcats face a strong early-season test as they travel to Faribault to take on Bethlehem Academy. Last year, the state-bound Cardinals ended Goodhue’s season in a 54-50 wins in the Section 1A-West finals.