Class A Goodhue continues to excel against bigger HVL schools

Goodhue, ranked No. 5 in the state in Class A, defeated Stewartville, ranked No. 14 in Class AAA, 62-58 on Friday. It was Goodhue's second win over the Tigers this season.

Matt Halverson.jpg
Goodhue boys basketball coach Matt Halverson talks to his team, including Justin Buck (3), on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, during a home Hiawatha Valley League boys basketball game against Stewartville. Goodhue, ranked No. 5 in the state in Class A, beat Stewartville, ranked No. 14 in Class AAA, 62-58.
Guy N. Limbeck / Post Bulletin

GOODHUE — Goodhue might be a Class A team playing in a conference stacked with Class AA and AAA rivals, but the Wildcats have shown they are a force in Hiawatha Valley League boys basketball.

The HVL is loaded at the top of the conference this season and two heavyweights clashed on Friday night. Goodhue continued its run through the HVL with a narrow 62-58 home victory over Stewartville.

“It’s a blessing and a curse because you get yourself playoff ready, (but) you don’t have a night off in the HVL,” Goodhue coach Matt Halverson said. “There’s just a lot of good teams. And at the same time it keeps you sharp, so we like the challenge of it when we have competitive teams like we do this year.”

Goodhue (18-2, 10-2 HVL), ranked No. 5 in Class A, ran its winning streak to nine games with a comeback victory over Stewartville. In the process, the Wildcats snapped Stewartville's 11-game winning streak. The Tigers (13-4, 7-4 HVL) are ranked No. 14 in Class AAA. Both teams are chasing Lake City, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, for the HVL title.

“It feels amazing,” Goodhue senior Adam Poncelet said. “We play 2A and 3A schools all through the regular season and it feels good to get those wins against those bigger schools.”


Poncelet, a 6-foot-3 forward, collected 17 points and 14 rebounds while Justin Buck and freshman Luke Roschen, who drilled five 3-pointers, both had 16 points for Goodhue.

Adam Poncelet 2023 mug.jpg
Adam Poncelet

“I think we’ve really had our younger guys step up,” Poncelet said. “It’s really nice to have those guys to rely on and carry part of the load.”

The Wildcats continue to show off their balance and prove they can win without their top players always leading the way. Will Opsahl, Goodhue's top scorer this season, scored just nine points, and he took a mere six shots in the contest.

“That’s what I really like about this year, they’re completely unselfish,” Halverson said. “We’ve had many leading scorers throughout our games. When one guy’s not shooting the ball well, hopefully another guy picks him up.”

Goodhue also showed off its defense skill. The Wildcats forced 16 turnovers and controlled the boards 34-24. They did not allow a single play to hit double figures as Stewartville had three players with nine points.

The Wildcats also held the upper hand in shooting.

Stewartville coach Parker Lyga said the Tigers were too sloppy with the ball.

“Against a 2-3 zone, you probably shouldn’t have 16, 17 turnovers and win a game,” Lyga said. “Matt does an awesome job and I have to give credit to them.”


Goodhue had defeated Stewartville 71-59 in Stewartville back on Dec. 20. On Friday, the host Wildcats trailed 30-25 at the half. Goodhue then started the second half on 8-0 run and never trailed again. But the game was close and Stewartville missed the mark on a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds to play that would have tied the game.

“I thought in the second half we did a better job of establishing ourselves, being strong with the basketball and not trying to thread the needle with passes,” Halverson said. “Just doing all those little things adds up to fewer turnovers and few run-outs for them and fewer points.”

Roschen hit three of Goodhue's six 3-pointers in the second half. Poncelet also stepped up with 12 points over the final 18 minutes.

“They’re an excellent team,” Lyga said. “They had the runs that we needed. They opened up that second half with four threes and hit us in the mouth. That’s kind of tough to come back from.”

Lyga said the Tigers will try to learn from the loss and will look to get back on another winning streak.

Goodhue has some tough challenges coming up with a game at Lake City on Feb. 10 and then a home game against Hayfield, ranked No. 9 in Class A, on Feb. 14.

“There are still a lot of good 1A schools out there looking to beat us,” Poncelet said. “I think we have a target on our backs beating these big schools so our mindset is to keep getting better.”

Goodhue 62, Stewartville 58
Parker Wangen 9 P; Henry Tschetter 9 P; Brady Pickett 3 P, 1 3-PT; Tegan Malone 6 P, 4 R, 2 3-PT; Jason Shindelar 9 P, 4 R, 3 3-PT; Caleb Jannsen 7 P; Ayden Helder 6 P; Caleb Bancroft 4 P, 4 R; Max Barnes 3 P, 1 3-PT.
Justin Buck 16 P, 8 R; Will Opsahl 9 P, 1 3-PT; Jed Ryan 2 P; Adam Poncelet 17 P, 14 R, 2 3-PT; Gavin Schafer 2 P; Luke Roschen 16 P, 5 3-PT.
Halftime: STEW 30, GOOD 25.
Free throws: STEW 9-13, GOOD 10-16. Field goals: STEW 20-47, GOOD 23-44.
Three-point goals: STEW 7-21, GOOD 8-19. Rebounds: STEW 24, GOOD 34.


Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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