The two time defending state champion Goodhue Wildcats gave the Lyle-Pacelli Athletics all they could handle Saturday in Lyle.  In the end the Athletics were the better closer with a 50-44 win.

With 5:29 to go in the game Goodhue took a 42-41 lead and looked like they had seized the momentum.  Athletics Head Coach Justin Morris took a time out and his team went on a 9-2 run to close out the game.  It was a terrific game played in a packed tiny gym with playoff atmosphere that rained down on the court.

The Wildcats had their chances down the stretch but simply couldn't make shots.  Most of them were good looks.  Frankly, there were some critical calls not made against Lyle-Pacelli 6'5 senior post Kristi Fett.  One play in particular Goodhue 6'0 senior Sydney Lodermeier was going up for a shot under the basket, under the outstretched arm of Fett and was hit hard with no foul called.

Sydney Lodermeier had 11 first half points to keep her team in the game.  The Athletics led 31-24 at the half with their biggest lead being 9 points.  Lyle-Pacelli started the game on a 7-0 run.  Goodhue came back to make it 8-8.

One of the differences in the game was the free throw line where the Athletics were 11 of 14 and the Wildcats 7 of 10.

Lyle-Pacelli hit four three point baskets and Goodhue three in the game.

Sydney Lodermeier was held scoreless in the second half with the Athletics paying a lot of attention to her.

It was the 16th win in a row for Lyle-Pacelli and by far the closest game they've had against a Minnesota school.  The Athletics average margin of victory has been 35 points per game.  Their only loss came to Cresco, Iowa (65-55) in December.

Goodhue fell to 17-6 on the season with all losses coming to state ranked teams.

The win for Lyle-Pacelli gives them a lock on the top seed in the section which is huge in a section as talented as Section 1 is.  There are state ranked teams all over the section.

6'3 junior post Lexi Lodermeier of Goodhue had more points than Fett 13 to 11 but the Athletics had a slight advantage on the boards.

Goodhue also had 11 turnovers and Lyle-Pacelli 10 in the game.  With both teams pressing often those numbers were impressive.

Lyle-Pacelli was led by 5'10 sophomore guard Olivia Christensen with 17 points, 5'7 senior Kendal Truckenmiller had 11 and Fett 11.

Our Goodhue County American Dairy Association Wildcats of the game were the Lodermeiers and 5'9 Kate Opsahl.  The junior got the Wildcats started off right in the second half with 5 points right out of the gate.  5'4 freshman Arianna Thomforde also had 9 points for Goodhue.

After the game Wildcat Head Coach Josh Wieme said, "I hope we get to see them again."

Undoubtedly because in his mind that would be for a section title.

Goodhue Huddle in Lyle. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld