One hundred and five days apart, a 66-point swing. That was one of the subplots to Saturday’s Class 1A girls basketball state championship game at Williams Arena. Goodhue defeated Mountain Iron-Buhl 73-52 as the Wildcats claimed their second consecutive title, but let’s go back to very early in the season.
In the Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Hopkins High School on December 3, Mountain Iron-Buhl absolutely creamed Goodhue. The Rangers’ 78-34 victory gave them the No. 1 ranking for the rest of the season and the No. 1 seed at state, with Goodhue No. 2.
After both teams advanced with semifinal wins Friday, Goodhue coach Josh Wieme said, “I don’t think they’ll beat us by 44 again.”
That wasn’t the boldest of predictions, but the turnaround from their first meeting was quite momentous.
“We played more aggressively than they did in December, and they took it to us today,” said Rangers coach Jeff Buffetta “We couldn’t get that extra push that we needed. Goodhue had it and we didn’t.”
Goodhue’s three wins at state were by 13, 22 and 22 points. The Wildcats brought back lots of experience from the 2016 championship team and they showed what they can do when the pressure was the highest.
“I think it’s the best we’ve played, certainly for three consecutive games,” said Wieme. “They certainly rise to it. They can sense the moment, they’re not afraid of it.”
As for the game in December, Wieme said, “We certainly questioned ourselves a lot. It was also what happened, you couldn’t deny it, we didn’t make excuses. They just severely outplayed us that day. We say this a lot, but we just try to focus on the day to day, getting a little bit better.”
--Saturday’s game marked the end of stellar high school careers for Mountain Iron-Buhl seniors Mya Buffetta and Chelsea Mason. They both were on the varsity squad for six years, went to state every year, finished as state runner-up twice and played in 190 games. 2A: Roseau wins first basketball title
After falling in the state semifinals the last two years, Roseau captured its first girls basketball state title with a 75-64 victory over Sauk Centre. The Borowicz sisters combined for 48 points for the Rams, with senior Kiley getting 20, sophomore Kacie scoring 19 and eighth-grader Katie scoring nine.
“They have an awful lot of weapons and you kind of pick your poison,” said Sauk Centre coach Scott Bergman.
Roseau’s last state title came in boys hockey in 2007. Orono tops Winona for 3A championship
The top-seeded Spartans won their first state title using only five players in the championship game. Tori Andrew scored 22 points and Mattea Rice had 19 for Orono. Winona, which lost in the championship game for the second year in a row, was led by Abby Winter with 14 points, Eden Nibbelink with 12 and Maria Appicelli with 11.Elk River knocks off Hopkins in 4A
Elk River joins Roseau and Orono in winning the first girls basketball state championship in school history. The Elks finished the season with a 32-0 record, becoming only the fourth team to win 32 games. Hopkins, which finished 31-1, won state championships in 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. The Royals also were state runners-up one year ago, falling to Minnetonka.Wells-Fargo All-Tournament Teams
Class 1A/ Brooklyn DeKam, Southwest Minnesota Christian; Chelsea Swatek, Bailey Gronner, Cromwell-Wright; Sami Payne, Maranatha Christian; Chelsea Mason, Mya Buffeta, Mountain Iron-Buhl; Sydney Lodermeier, Maddy Miller, Mckenzie Ryan, Emily Benrud, Goodhue.
Class 2A/ Marnie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva; Shea Oman, New London-Spicer; Claire Killian, Kirstin Klitzke, Watertown-Mayer; Tori Peschel, Maesyn Thiesen, Jill Klaphake, Sauk Centre; Kiley Borowicz, Kacie Borowicz, Victoria Johnson, Roseau.
Class 3A/ Kendall Kohler, Alexandria; Ayanna Gardner, DeLaSalle; Destinee Oberg, Holy Angels; Heaven Hamling, Grand Rapids; Danneka Voegeli, Eden Nibbelink, Winona; Tori Andrew, Natalie Smaron, Mattea Rice, Madeline Loder, Orono.
Class 4A/ Mikayla Hayes, Park Center; Temi Carda, Lakeville North; Megan Walstad, Rachel Ranke, Eastview; Gabi Haack, Kelsie Cox, Sidney Wentland, Elk River; Paige Bueckers, Raena Suggs, Angie Hammond, Hopkins.Boys state basketball pairings
The boys tournament takes center stage beginning Wednesday and ending with the state championship games Saturday at Target Center. Pairings are set in three classes, with the 2A field awaiting one section final Saturday night; the 2A pairings will be announced Sunday.Class 4A
Wednesday at Target Center
10 am/ #1 Champlin Park (29-0) vs. Chaska (24-5)
Noon/ #4 Lakeville North (27-2) vs. #5 Wayzata (26-3)
2 pm/ #2 Maple Grove (27-2) vs. Andover (11-18)
4 pm/ #3 Apple Valley (27-2) vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (21-8)Class 3A
Wednesday at Williams Arena
10 am #1 DeLaSalle (24-3) vs. Big Lake (20-9)
Noon #4 Fergus Falls (25-4) vs. #5 Columbia Heights (21-8)
2 pm #2 Austin (27-2) vs. St. Thomas Academy (23-6)
4 pm#3 Marshall (26-3) vs. Grand Rapids (24-5)Class 1A
Thursday at Williams Arena
11 am/ #1 Minneapolis North (29-2) vs. Red Lake (25-4)
1 pm/ #4 Nevis (28-1) vs. #5 Springfield (28-2)
3 pm/ #2 Goodhue (28-3) vs. Lake Park-Audubon (22-6)
5 pm/ #3 Central Minnesota Christian (26-3) vs. Northwoods (29-1)
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