The last two times a Fillmore County girls teams played Goodhue in a section title game, it wasn’t pretty. R-P fell to the Wildcats 75-38 in 2014 and 85-52 in 2016. The latter game started a Goodhue dominant run. The Wildcats won by 31 (77-46), 39 (74-35), and 25 (89-64) on the way to last year’s Class A state title. They (#2 in state, West 1-seed, 24-4) returned plenty and entered the 2017 Section 1A title game with Fillmore Central (East 5-seed, 17-12) as a heavy favorite. But FC’s seed wasn’t a good reflector of their prowess. After all, Levi Olstad’s four seniors all played in the Falcons’ 47-36 Section title game loss to Lyle/Pacelli in 2015. For over a half, FC battled goliath to a near stalemate. Senior Tayah Barnes hit three threes and five free throws in the first nine minutes to stoke FC to 10-4 and 21-13 leads. An 8-0 Wildcat run tied things at 21. It took a first-half buzzer-beater for the Wildcats to lead 29-27 at halftime. Barnes had 16 already. But the crème typically rises to the top. The Wildcats are highly skilled at ball-handling, shooting, and playing defense. Goodhue went man-to-man in the second. They got out on FC’s shooters, blocked a number of shots, and stymied the Falcons offense. Leading 34-31, they went on a 13-0 run (47-31). After a 9 of 19 first half, FC went 7 of 31 FGs in the second stanza. What was expected to happen, happened. FC kept it closer than any of the above games, but still fell 64-42 (scorekeepers at MCC gave Goodhue an extra point). Barnes led the way (20 pts, 3-8 threes, 5-5 FTs, 6 rebs, 3 assists, 5 stls). Kendyl Bennett added 10 points. Kenzie Broadwater didn’t score (0 pts, 6 rebs, 7 assists, 2 assists, 2 blks), but she was the FC press-break. Against one of the state’s best Class A teams, she sped around at a pace all her own. Without her, the score would’ve been like the others above (or worse). Goodhue was led by senior guard Mckenzie Ryan (6 of 8 threes, 20 pts). Fourth-year starter, 5’11” junior G/F/C Sydney Lodermeier added a double-double (18 pts, 7-12 FGs, 11 rebs, 4 blks) while Maddy Miller (17 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assists, 3 stls) stuffed the stat-sheet. Goodhue owns wins over 1AA Champion Rochester-Lourdes (71-47), TRC East Champion Caledonia (70-48), SEC-West Champion Lyle/Pacelli twice (54-49 in OT, 52-43). They split with 1AA semifinalist Hayfield (34-46, 49-46) and 1AA Runner-Up Kenyon-Wanamingo (60-56, 77-79 in OT). The Falcons end a good season (17-13) with a great run, a second Section Runner-Up finish in three years. FC graduates a five-year starter in Broadwater, four-year every-game girls K-Bennett/Barnes, and three-year every-game girl Paige Bennett; a fine senior foursome.
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