Goodhue 89, Maranatha Christian Academy 64
The Goodhue Wildcats completed their impressive tournament run with another confident victory, this time over the MCA Mustangs.
Goodhue's fearsome press-defense, the same one that that gave Wheaton/Herman-Norcross fits during the semifinal round, was on display again this afternoon, leading to a lopsided 24 turnovers from the Mustangs. Goodhue's hustle paid them back to the tune of 26 points scored off turnovers and 21 second-chance points as the Wildcats attacked the glass relentlessly.
Maddy Miller and Sydney Lodemeier led the Wildcats with 28 and 24 points, respectively, in the win. Elise Moore led the Mustangs with 16 points on 8 of 14 field goal attempts.
This is Goodhue's first championship in six state tournament appearances.
Plainview-Elgin-Millville 72, New London-Spicer 42
The top-seeded P-E-M Bulldogs raced out to an early lead over New London-Spicer and never looked back in a lopsided win that all began with a 10-0 run during the opening minutes.
In the end, it proved to be a game of percentages, as the Bulldog's stifling defense held New London-Spicer to just 26% shooting on the game while P-E-M's field goal percentage never dipped below an efficient 44%. The Bulldogs' defense capitalized on nearly every New London-Spicer mistake during the early minutes, scoring 18 points off turnovers in the first half alone.
Emmaline Polson scored a team-best 22 points to lead P-E-M to their first state championship since Plainview incorporated with Elgin-Millville in 2006.
Academy of Holy Angels 51, Winona 43
Holy Angels gave fans at Williams Arena a little taste of the upset-mania that has infiltrated this year's March Madness, knocking-off the higher-seeded Winona at the end of a gritty, low-scoring game to bring their school its' first title since 1975.
Both teams played their zone defensive schemes to perfection, forcing pitched game that saw neither team shoot better than 35% on the night. The Winona Winhawks couldn't manage a single made basket until five minutes of play had elapsed, but it hardly hurt them, as the Stars had only put 5 points on the board during that time.
Holy Angels star forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich led the game with 25 points on a surprisingly low 9 of 24 shooting but shot a perfect 6 out of 6 at the line. The Winhawks simply couldn't keep Bagwell-Katalinich off the glass, however, and allowed the forward to tally a massive 16 rebounds, more than half of which came on the offensive side of the ball for several easy stick-backs.
Minnetonka 61, Hopkins 52
Minnetonka and Hopkins have a western-suburbs rivalry that always seems to deliver fireworks, and tonight's 4A final did not disappoint, with a defense-heavy back-and-forth battle that was eventually swung by the Minnetonka Skippers' unstoppable rebounding.
Minnetonka went after 4A defending champs Hopkins with everything they had defensively during the first half, forcing four turnovers and holding the Royals to just 8 of 32 shooting on the half. The only player that the Skippers couldn't seem to slow down all-night was Ashley Bates, who played like a battering ram all night, forcing her way to the line for 11 free throw attempts and 28 points before fouling out with 6 minutes left in the second half.
With Bates on the sidelines, Lizzie Odegard was free to roam the low block unimpeded, scoring 17 points absolutely playing volleyball on the backboard with a staggering 23 rebounds. Odegard's teammates Chrissy Carr and Courtney Fredrickson also contributed 10-plus rebounds apiece, leading to a 64-33 advantage on the boards.
This championship marks Minnetonka's first state title in two tournament appearances. They are the first three-seed to win the tournament since St. Paul Central's win in 2008.