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Girls Basketball: Goodhue waits as Class 1A seeds state tournament

ROCHESTER – After missing out on the state tournament the past two seasons, the Goodhue girls basketball team makes a return to the big stage with a 75-38 Section 1A championship thrashing of Rushford-Peterson on Thursday.

But when the Wildcats head to Mariucci Arena next Thursday, they won’t be just the Section 1A champs. They’ll likely be one of the top-seeded teams in the tournament. 

In late February, the section representatives at the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association section meeting voted unanimously to seed the Class 2A and 1A state tournaments. Previously, the small-school tournaments had set draws, whereas Class 3A and 4A were seeded 1-5 with three random draw teams. Now, Class 2A and 1A will follow the big-school tournament template. 

While the timing of the announcement was near the beginning of section tournament play, Goodhue head coach Josh Wieme said the discussion was in the works for a while.

“We coaches, we stay in the loop a little bit, like, ‘Hey, this might be coming.’ Things like that,” Wieme said. “I thought the official announcement would come out sooner.

Wieme added, “(The announcement) wasn’t completely out of the blue. It happened before you started seriously scouting another section.” 

Had the state tournament stuck with the pre-determined draw, the Wildcats would have faced Section 2A champion Mankato Loyola, which defeated Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 60-41 on Friday.

“It’s just a wait-and-see now (for state seeding). Otherwise, I’d hop in the car and go to Mankato (to scout the 2A championship),” Wieme said following Thursday's Section 1A championship. “Now I don’t get to do that.”

Just weeks after the decision, Wieme admits that he is still lukewarm about state seeding in Class 1A.

“It’s so hard to tell. We don’t have common opponents and we’re so spread out,” Wieme said. 

After the season Goodhue put together – a 25-5 record, the No. 1 ranking in the state poll and a 37-point victory in the section final – Wieme is confident the Wildcats have a strong enough resume to get seeded in the tournament. 

“We might not get seeded. We’ll have the most losses of probably anyone in it, and you never know what coaches look at. It’s the first time (state seeding) has happened,” Wieme said. “It’s so hard to say, but I think we’ll get seeded. We deserve a seed. It’s clear we deserve to be there (after winning the section title), that’s the important thing.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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