Minneota Completes Dream Season with Win Over Goodhue
The Minneota Vikings became the fifth team in state history to win both a volleyball and girls basketball title in the same season. The Vikings defeated the Goodhue Wildcats 40-31 in a game where defense prevailed. Minneota led by 7 points at the half, 20-13 thanks in large part to missed layups by the Wildcats.
It was just one of those days for Goodhue. They shot 24 percent from the field and while Minneota did play good defense there were a lot of open shots missed by the Wildcats. Goodhue never led in the game that had four ties. When the Wildcats made one of their signature frantic runs late, the Vikings (in particular Abby Hennen) hit their free throws (she was 6 for 6 in the final few minutes of the game).
The Vikings shot 33 percent for the game. If you would have told me before the game that Minneota leading scorer and rebounder Lydia Sussner would be limited to 6 points and 6 rebounds I probably would have said Goodhue wins. If you would have told me before the game that Goodhue gets Minneota to turn the ball over 20 times I probably would have predicted a Wildcats victory. Of course Goodhue turned the ball over 15 times themselves. Points off turnovers were 16-9 in favor of the Wildcats.
Goodhue had 4 field goals in the first half and Minneota was limited to 5 field goals in the second half. The Wildcats could get no closer than five points in the second half. That came with 9:08 to go on a Kate Opsahl three point basket. It was the only three point basket Goodhue would make in the entire state tournament. The Wildcats were 1 for 23 from beyond the arc in the tournament. With 2:09 to go Goodhue sophmore Arianna Thomforde hit two free throws to get her team within 6 points but Hennen would put the game away at the free throw line on the other end of the floor.
Minneota's largest lead in the game was 10 points with 1:24 to go thanks again to Hennen's free throw shooting.
Senior Kate Opsahl tried to put the team on her back in the second half. Opsahl had 14 points, 4 rebounds in 30 minutes of action. Classmate 6'3 Lexie Lodermeier did not score in the second half and took 3 shots the entire half. After going 4 for 4 at the charity stripe in the first half Lodermeier did not have a free throw attempt in the second half.
In the first half Opsahl, Lexie Lodermeier and Joslyn Carslon were the only Wildcats to score. In the second half Opsahl, Thomforde and Elissa Lodermeier were the only Goodhue players to get in the scoring column.
Minneota had just three girls score in the second half. Abby Hennen, Sussner (1 free throw) and senior LIzzy Gillingham.
Gillingham was the difference in the game scoring 9 second half points and 11 total. She's heading to South Dakota State to run track and did sneak out for a couple of big layups off missed Goodhue shots before the Wildcats could set up their vise grip defense.
Opsahl, Lexie Lodermeier and Joslyn Carlson were named to the Class A All-Tournament team for Goodhue.
The Wildcats ended their season 26-7. Minneota ended their year 30-1 and did not lose to a Minnesota school. Their only loss (59-39) was to Brandon Valley, South Dakota.
In researching state title records for volleyball and basketball I found the 1992 Tracy team won a girls basketball title and Tracy-Milroy a volleyball title. In 1996 Tracy-Milroy captured volleyball and basketball titles. In 2001 Fosston was State Champion in both and in 2010 Lakeville North was a State Champion in both sports in the same season.
It should be noted the Minnesota State High School League expanded the volleyball classes from one in 1974 to two in 1975 and three in 1999. Girls basketball was expanded from one class in 1974 and '75 to two classes in '76 and four classes in 1997.