Girls State Basketball: Goodhue tops defending champ Mountain Iron-Buhl for Class 1A championship

Girls State Basketball: Class 1A Championship – Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Goodhue

Goodhue recorded a 70-65 victory over Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class A championship game at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. Senior guard Elisabeth Gadient scored 20 of her 31 points in the first half to spark the Wildcats in a successful conclusion to their return to the Class A enrollment classification. Last season, Goodhue placed third in the Class AA tournament.

***Click the video box above for extended highlights of the game***

It is the first championship for Goodhue (28-5) since winning the second of two Class A titles in 2017. The Wildcats were Class A runners-up in 2010 and 2019. Mountain Iron-Buhl (29-4) was looking to become the first Class A school to win consecutive small-school crowns since Minneota in 2021.

To successfully defend the championship, the Rangers figured Zubich, one of Minnesota’s premier players and a University of North Carolina recruit, would be a significant factor. Instead, the Wildcats limited Zubich to just one point in the first half and 12 for the game.

But even without Zubich as the primary source of offense, the Rangers’ supporting cast kept repeat hopes very much alive. Goodhue had leads as many as 12 points, but the Rangers climbed back to within three points a handful of times. But tapping into the veteran leadership and experience, Goodhue remained poised and created separation a number of times.

Senior guard Kendyl Lodermeier had 21 points and sophomore guard Natalie Thomforde added 11. She was 3 of 4 from three-point range. As a team, the Wildcats made 11 of 25 three-pointers for a 44 percent efficiency.

Zubich was 3 of 14 from the field and was primarily guarded by ninth-grade guard Mackenzie Lodermeier. She got going in the second half with 11 points and also finished with eight assists and five rebounds. Senior forward Gabby Lira had 24 points for the Rangers and senior Hali Savela had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Third place

  • Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 66, Underwood 49: The Mustangs (30-4) were seeded No. 3 in the Class A field and that is where they ended up following a victory over the Rockets in the third-place game at the Gangelhoff Center on the Concordia (St. Paul) campus. Sophomore guard Lily Hubin led the way with 23 points and senior guard Ellaina Bergstrom chipped in 16. Senior guard Elizabeth Lukken paced Underwood (29-5) with 20 points.   

Consolation final

  • Mayer Lutheran 70, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 39: Sophomore guard Izabelle Keaveny finished a strong state tournament run with 26 points to send Mayer Lutheran to a victory over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in the consolation final at the Gangelhoff Center on the Concordia (St. Paul). She was 8 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 3 from three-point range and was 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Senior forward Danica Martin added 20 points for the Crusaders (21-11). Junior forward Adyson Kurtz had 12 points for the Wolves (25-8).