Girls Basketball: Goodhue holds off late Lake City rally
LAKE CITY - Things looked troubling early on for Goodhue, even before tipoff.
Facing off with Lake City in a Hiawatha Valley League Blue division game Tuesday, leading scorer Mikayla Miller was dealing with an illness, according to Wildcats head coach Josh Wieme. Then early in the contest, junior Mikayla Tipcke suffered a deep thigh bruise that hampered her for the rest of the game.
But none of that seemed to slow down second-ranked (1A) Goodhue, who held off a second-half charge by the Tigers to come away with a 63-46 victory.
"I'm thrilled with the win and the way it went," Wieme said. "Their height was going to give us problems both offensively and defensively. ... We were able to get enough turnovers and enough stops.
"I liked the way we pushed back after they pushed us."
While facing a daunting task against the Wildcats, Lake City proved to be a scrappy bunch on Tuesday, cutting Goodhue's lead to 38-31 with 11 minutes, 34 seconds left in the game after trailing by as much as 17 points in the first half.
With 6-footers Taylor Koller and Madi Green patrolling the paint for the Tigers, the Wildcats got off to a fast start thanks to their outside shooters. Tipcke scored 15 of Goodhue's first 20 points as the Wildcats went 6-for-19 from 3-point range for the game.
"When you're facing trees, you have to be able to hit the outside shot," said Tipcke, who scored 20 of her 22 points in the first half. "That gave me a push."
"She was more offensive-minded than she's been," Wieme said of Tipcke. "At one point, she had a pull-up jumper in the lane, and she doesn't do that a whole lot. Usually she's looking to pass first. It was kind of neat that she got it going and looked for herself a little bit more."
Falling behind 27-12 in the first half, Lake City (8-5, 2-2 HVL Blue) managed to climb back with a 10-2 run to make it a nine-point game. Using its substantial size advantage, the Tigers fed the ball inside continually to Green (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Koller (12 points, 14 rebounds). Down 34-24 at halftime, a layup by Lake City's Bailey Cronin cut the gap to 38-31 early in the second half.
"That's fun for us to see that they have to come up with a game plan for us instead of just showing up and doing what they do," said Tigers head coach Candace Olstad. "That's an improvement from years past."
The Tigers managed to get the deficit to double digits, but Goodhue (12-1, 4-0 HVL Blue) would not let the game get any closer, building a 49-33 lead after capitalizing on three consecutive Lake City turnovers.
"We got in our defense a little more because they hadn't been hitting outside shots," Tipcke said. "So when we sucked our defense in more, it was harder for them to make the over-the-top passes, and that helped."
Hampering the Tigers' comeback was 27 turnovers and a 10 of 20 outing from the free-throw line.
"They had too many weapons, and with a couple turnovers and a few too many missed free throws, they came away with it," Olstad said.
Miller put together a solid all-around game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals to help Goodhue to a victory. Kali Ryan added seven points, and Emma Watson grabbed seven boards.
For Lake City, Breanna Gates added 13 points, and Cronin had four steals in the loss.
The Wildcats have four days to recuperate before returning to the court on Saturday in a game against Section 1A foe Spring Grove. The Tigers travel to Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Friday.