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Goodhue too much for Rebels, again

There was a strong hint about how the Section One, Class A West semifinal boys basketball game between No. 1 seed Goodhue and No. 4 Southland was going to come out. That was provided Jan. 11, when Goodhue soared to a 26-point win.

It was more of the same Monday night at Mayo Civic Auditorium. After Southland stuck around for the first few minutes, trailing just 8-6 after two Josh Anderson free throws, Goodhue brought everybody back to Jan. 11.

The Wildcats went on a 24-5 scoring run the rest of the half and never looked back, winning 68-41.

Four players scored for Goodhue prior to intermission. That includedguard Riley Bollum notching 11 of his 21 points, and strong forward Riley Augustine slicing and crashing in for 10 points of his 13 points.

As well as Bollum scored, he wasn't dwelling on it. All he could talk about was his team's defense. That's the focus under first-year Wildcats coach Matt Halverson.

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"We play good defense and we work really hard at it," said Bollum, a senior. "We really like to play defense. When we hold teams under 41 points we're 14-0 this season. The key to the whole thing is communicating. We're always talking."

Sure enough, it was Goodhue's pressure defense thatdrove Southland crazy early and helped provide that lopsided halftime lead. Southland lost the ball 10 times in the first 18 minutes. And when the Rebels did geta shot off, it rarely went in. Southland went just 3-for-20 from the fieldin the first half.

Goodhue, meanwhile,went an excellent 13-for-23, including hitting four 3-pointers. That 21-point Wildcats halftime lead proved way too much for Southland toovercome, thoughit did start the second half with a rush. It outscored Goodhue 13-8 just after intermission.

The rushdidn't last. Goodhue quicklytook over again with its patient, precise offense, and all of that pressure defensively.

Southland had Goodhue coach Halverson concerned, mostly because he was aware that the Rebels were capable of putting up big points. Southland scored 88 points in an overtime lossto stateClass A power Rushford-Peterson in late January.

But there was none of that against Goodhue.

"We just don't give up easy shots, and our three seniors (Bollum, Alex Thomforde and Austin Buck) have really bought in to what we're doing," Halverson said.

Goodhue upped its record to 18-10 and won for the sixth straight time.

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Southland was paced by forward Josh Anderson with 14 points. The Rebels finished their season at 6-21.

Goodhue 68, Southland 41

SOUTHLAND (41)

Trent Reinartz 4, Alex Ruechel 8, Lukas Anderson 11, Ike Kloeckner 3, James Landherr 0, Josh Anderson 14, Jackson Koenigs 1.

GOODHUE (68)

Alex Thomforde 5, Sam McNamara 2, Riley Bollum 21, Jake Pasch 6, Tyler Schumacher 12, Riley Augustine 13, Austin Buck 2, Nick Earp 1, Jacob McNamara 6.

Halftime:GOOD 32, SOU 11.

Free throws:SOU 15-18, GOOD 16-21.

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Three-point goals:SOU 1 (L. Anderson 1), GOOD 4 (Bollum 1, Pasch 2, Schumacher 1).

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