Boys Basketball: Record defensive night helps Goodhue advanceWildcats set a single-game record for points allowed in a 45-22 victory over Bethany Academy in the Section 1A-West playoffs
By: Joe Brown, The Republican Eagle
GOODHUE – Around Christmas time, Goodhue head boys basketball coach Tony Poncelet had a simple question for his team.
“We had played some good teams and I asked the guys, ‘What defines us? What defines our team?’” Poncelet said.
“They all said, ‘Defense,’ and that’s what we really focused on.”
And on Thursday, defense stood out in record fashion.
In their first game of the Section 1A-West playoffs, the third-seeded Wildcats set a new school standard for points allowed in a game after coming away with a 43-22 victory over sixth-seeded Bethany Academy.
With the win, the Wildcats (12-14) head to the Mayo Auditorium in Rochester to face No. 2 seed Bethlehem Academy, which defeated Randolph 69-42 on Thursday.
On Feb. 12, Goodhue and Bethany Academy met, with the Wildcats pulling away with a 55-32 victory. And in Thursday’s first-round matchup, Goodhue’s focus was set on shutting down the Eagles’ top scorer in the first matchup: Sam Hagen.
“We had to shut down No. 22 (Hagen) because he tore it up the last time we played them,” said Wildcats guard Tyler Schumacher. “We basically played man, but we needed help side on him.”
To counteract Goodhue’s offense, Bethany Academy (7-19) brought the game to a grinding halt in the first half, as both teams combined for just four shots in the first eight minutes. The Wildcats were only able to build a 14-6 halftime lead as the Eagles made just two field goals in the first 18 minutes.
“We were on defense for five minutes at a time, it felt like,” said Goodhue senior forward Tyson Dicke, “but they didn’t get many shots off, so that’s good.”
Controlling the offensive side of the ball with frequent passes and aggressive offensive rebounds, Bethany Academy cut Goodhue’s lead to 14-11 with 12 minutes, 58 seconds left in the game after a layup by Seth Cupersmith.
But once the Wildcats calmed down and controlled the glass, they were finally able to get some momentum on the offensive end. Starting with a pair of free throws by Schumacher, Goodhue went on an 11-point run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Riley Bollum. Bollum scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half.
“When you get into a rhythm, you feel like you can make anything,” said Schumacher, who had a game-high 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
Poncelet added, “I thought Schumacher and Bollum did a good job of attacking their zone and finding the open guy.”
Over the final eight minutes, the Wildcats’ defense continued to shine, holding Bethany Academy to three field goals for the rest of the game. The Eagles made just eight field goals in the game.
Bethany Academy’s top scorer was RT Mould, who had six points. With the versatile Dicke zoned in on him all game, Hagen finished with five points on 2 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range.
“Tyson’s 6-foot-4, and with him covering a shooting guard, that alters a lot of shots,” Poncelet said. “Dicke’s defense has been great all year and it showed tonight. Hagen is a legit scorer and he ended up with five.
“Next week, Tyson might be on a post, and that is what’s nice about having him.”