Area Girls' Basketball: Goodhue squeaks out hard-fought quarterfinal victory
Led defensively by sophomore Torrie Rehder in the back court, the Goodhue girls' basketball is unlike previous versions of the Wildcats that have produced state titles. Goodhue head coach Josh Wieme acknowledged the distinction and added that this year's team features a lot of balance.
"We're not trying to reenact that team from two or three years ago," Wieme said. "We're trying to be the best this team can be. This team does special things, even offensively. The way we move. The way we share the ball. This group does it as well as any other group we've had."
The balanced attack and hard-working defense was in full effect in a gutsy 50-48 win against Mountain Iron-Buhl in a Class A quarterfinal at Maturi Pavilion on Thursday.
Holding on to the lead for dear life in the waning minutes of the game, the Wildcat defense came up strong. Rehder, made the one of the most important and underrated plays of the game.
The Rangers were inbounding the ball with 2 seconds remaining on the clock. Assigned to the inbound passer, Rehder blocked the pass attempt. The ball went out of bounds almost immediately, however, it took one second off the clock. The Ranger's second inbound pass attempt made it just over the outstretched arms of Rehder, who then helped double-team a perimeter shot.
It's the effort and execution that Rehder doesn't always get credit for, but Wieme said is glad people seeing now.
"Torrie does so much for us that doesn't show up in the stats," Wieme said. "I'm glad so many people are watching her and to see how amazing she is."
For Rehder, who had three steals in the game, she takes pride in her role as a defensive specialist.
"In my mind, my job is to play well on defense so we can get the ball back," she said. "Always looking on offense to get the ball to someone else is really important to me too."
Rehder said the team schemed against a probable 3-pointer from the Rangers with man-to-man defense; something the Wildcats rarely do as the team often plays zone. She knew if the pass made it past her, she was likely going to have one last hustle play to make.
"I was just trying not to let her get (the pass) in," Rehder said. "If she did get it in, I had to get back ready to help. It was on my mind that if they do get it in, I need to look for any other way to help before my girl gets to where she needs to be."
As for the scoring, Lexie Lodermeier led the Wildcats with 11 points while the rest of her teammates chipped in offensively when needed. At one point in the second half, the four other Wildcats on the floor with Lodermeier each had six points.
"I think it's good to have a team where the points are scattered throughout the players," said senior Kate Opsahl. "You don't want to rely on just one player or two players to get our points."
Wildcat Joslyn Carlson, who finished with nine points, helped Lodermeier underneath the rim and capped off several possessions with an offensive rebound and a quick put back. Hannah Gadient did much of the same throughout the game.
Several possessions included Carlson and Gadient streaking toward the basket, grabbing a rebound that wasn't there's originally, and capping an offensive possession with two points.
"Hannah had a big spark in our section final and kind of doubled down on it today," Wieme said. "She is such an explosive athlete.
"We need Joslyn. We need her in the double-digit mark every night. She gets it by moving a lot and scoring in traffic and getting put backs."
Opsahl, usually a top-scorer alongside Lodermeier, tallied six points for the Wildcats. Rehder scored nine points. Arianna Thomforde had seven points, while Elissa Lodermeier had three.
"To see everyone scoring this game, was great," Opsahl said. "I hope we can carry it on to the next game."
Lexie Lodermeier led the Wildcats with seven rebounds. Opsahl hauled in six rebounds, while Carlson finished with five rebounds.
Goodhue, the No. 2 seed in the Class A state tournament, next faces Menahga at 2 p.m. Friday in Williams Arena.