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Girls Basketball: Goodhue back in blue

The Goodhue girls’ basketball team celebrates with the Section 1A trophy after beating Fillmore Central 65-42 in the section finals Friday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

ROCHESTER – Fillmore Central came out of the gate on Friday and put Goodhue to the same test that the Wildcats are used to giving to their opponents. Through the first nine minutes of the Section 1A championship game, the Falcons held an eight-point lead, and seemingly could not miss from behind the 3-point arc.

But Goodhue knows the pressure of the moment, and the defending section and state champions finally broke through, closing the first half on a 16-6 run, then held Fillmore Central to 15 second-half points for a 65-42 victory and a berth in the state tournament.

“We came out flat,” said Goodhue head coach Josh Wieme. “We didn’t have that same fire and determination that we had last week. We needed a wake-up call.”

That alarm was apparently Tayah Barnes’ third 3-pointer of the first half, which gave the Falcons a 21-13 lead. After that, the Wildcats scored eight-straight points, and took just their second lead of the game when Haley Lexvold beat the buzzer to end the first half.

Then, for the first three minutes of the second half, the two teams were neck-and-neck. After four minutes, though, the Wildcats turned into the world-beaters that they were last year, scoring 13-straight points as part of a 25-8 run that put the game away with more than eight minutes on the clock.

“It’s not a mindset that we choose, that we want to be flat,” said Sydney Lodermeier, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win. “We were down eight, but at halftime we were up two. If we play our way, it’ll all work out.”

Mckenzie Ryan made a lot of the offense work our for Goodhue, hitting seven 3-pointers to finish with 21 points, a game high for both teams. Maddy Miller added 17 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats, while Barnes’ 20 led Fillmore Central.

Wieme said the East’s No. 5 seed didn’t do anything different than what was scouted, but that maybe Fillmore Central was better.

“They did what we expected, but better than what we thought,” Wieme said. “We gave (Barnes) too many shots after spending a week focusing on not letting that happen.”

If Goodhue is to comeback from Minneapolis with a second-straight state championship, the Wildcats will have to find the focus that led the team to the title in 2016. At 25-4, Goodhue seems like it’s capable of winning gold again. But a 78-34 loss to top-ranked Mountain Iron-Buhl on Dec. 3 showed the Wildcats that last year is not this year.

“A lot of it is us,” Lodermeier said. “Wieme can say everything he wants, but it’s up to us to call out teammates. We need to play for each other. Last year was great. But that was last year. But it’s good to get back and have another chance.”

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
(651) 301-7879
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