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Girls Basketball State Tournament 2024: Class A semifinals

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2024 - 5:41 PM

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Over the holiday break, Mountain Iron-Buhl and Goodhue faced one another in the Granite City Classic in St. Cloud. Goodhue prevailed with a 67-62 victory over the defending Class A champion. There were thoughts at the time that perhaps the teams would face one another in the postseason. They will and for the biggest prize of the season.

Top-seeded Goodhue (27-5) and No. 2 Mountain Iron-Buhl (29-3) recorded semifinal victories during the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament on Friday, March 15 at  Williams Arena. Goodhue topped No. 4 Underwood 63-53 to start the day, and later, Mountain Iron-Buhl raced past No. 3 Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart in the second semifinal.

Goodhue placed in the Class AA field in 2023 and placed third. It will be the fifth state championship game appearance for the Wildcats. Goodhue was the Class A runner-up in 2010 and 2019. In 2016 and 1017, the Wildcats were the Class A champions. Last season, Mountain Iron-Buhl was the Class A championship in its third title game appearance. The Rangers finished second in Class A n 2012 and 2017.

Here is a look at how each championship game entrant advanced through the semifinals:

No. 1 Goodhue 63, Underwood 53

Goodhue used a 16-0 run late in the first half to set the tone in a 63-53 victory over Underwood in the first Class A semifinal. The spree turned a deficit into a lead the Wildcats wouldn’t relinquish.

In the run, senior guard Elizabeth Gadient and junior forward Kendyl Lodermeier scored seven and six points, respectively.

After Underwood (28-4) pulled to within four early in the second half, Goodhue perked up again with a 12-2 run to build a 53-39 lead. Again, it was Gadient and Lodermeier, this time combining for 10 points. Gadient finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. She also hit a milestone by eclipsing 2,000 career points. Lodermeier contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior guard Elizabeth Lukken had 24 points for Underwood.

No. 2 Mountain Iron-Buhl 69, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 50

Senior guard Jordan Zubich, a University of North Carolina recruit, scored 31 points to power the Rangers (29-3) past the Mustangs (28-4) to earn a second consecutive berth in the Class A championship game.

Zubich made 6 of 7 shots en route to an 18-point output in helping the Rangers build a 28-14 lead. She finished with 21 points in the first half when Mountain Iron-Buhl held a 40-31 lead at the break. It was the 20th game this season when Zubich has scored at least 30 points.

Senior guard Hali Savela chipped in 13 points and senior forward Suzy Aubrey added 11.

Sophomore guard Lily Hubin led the way for Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, the Section 2A champion with 18 points. Senior twin sisters Kristi and Rachel Kottke, both guards, had 13 points each.

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