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A tough defensive night for Goodhue

Goodhue senior Blayne Erie looks for an opening against Faribault junior Michael Emge during the second half of Friday's game. Goodhue lost 84-67 despite Erie's 35 points.

Goodhue's 84-67 loss to Faribault in the opening game of the Red Wing Tip-off Tournament reaffirmed what Wildcats coach Tony Poncelet already knew: His team needs to work on its defense.

"We could have closed out quicker," Poncelet said. "We could have altered some of those shots. They shot well."

The Falcons finished 29 of 57 (50.9 percent) from the field including 9-for-19 from behind the 3-point arc. They also excelled at pushing the ball up the court.

"They hit big shots when they needed and they just ran on us," said junior Ashton Erie, who finished with 14 points. "Usually we try to play that game, but they played it back on us."

When Poncelet finished talking about Goodhue's defensive shortcomings, he turned to rebounding. Faribault had a 35-30 edge on the boards.

"Our boxing out, our rebounding was really bad," said Blayne Erie, Ashton's senior brother.

Despite its shortcomings, Goodhue remained in the game for about the first 28 minutes thanks to Blayne Erie. He scored the Wildcats' first 16 points.

Junior Brian Strauss scored Goodhue's 17th and 18th points of the game when he made a basket with 8:19 to play in the first half. Faribault led 24-18 at that point.

The Wildcats went into the locker room down a point, 33-32. Blayne Erie had 23 points at the break. Alan Dicke was the team's second leading scorer with four. The unbalanced scoring distribution could be a common thread in Goodhue games this season.

"The ball's going to go in and out of his hands almost every possession," Poncelet said of Blayne Erie. "He's obviously a big part of our offense."

Blayne Erie finished with 35 points and eight rebounds. He drained a basket with 10:43 to play in the game, giving Goodhue a 52-50 lead. It was their final lead of the night. Faribault then answered with a 17-0 run. Michael Emge, a junior, scored nine points during that stretch including all three free throws after he was fouled behind the arc.

Goodhue (0-1) will play Red Wing at 12:30 p.m. today in the consolation game.