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Goodhue rallies late, denies Braves spot in state title game

Lexie Lodermeier played a limited role when Goodhue won back-to-back state Class A girls basketball titles in 2016 and 2017.

Lodermeier played a big role in sending Goodhue back to the state championship game Friday afternoon at Williams Arena.

The 6-foot-3 senior center scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had two blocked shots in leading the Wildcats to a 47-43 victory over Menahga in a state semifinal game. Goodhue, the No. 2 seed, will play No. 1 Minneota for the state title Saturday at noon at Williams Arena while Menahga (the No. 3 seed) will play No. 4 Heritage Christian Academy in the third-place game Saturday morning at 11 at Concordia-St. Paul. Heritage Christian Academy defeated the Braves 66-59 in last year's state consolation semifinals.

Menahga seemed headed to the state championship game after expanding a 26-24 halftime lead to 37-28 with 11:39 to play. After Lodermeier opened the second half with a jumper to tie the game at 26-26, a jumper by Tara Hendrickson, a layup by Cierra Ahlf, a basket off a rebound by Hendrickson, a jumper by Alyssa Peterson and a 3-pointer by Ahlf gave Menahga the biggest lead of the game.

Goodhue responded with a 10-0 run. A pair of jumpers by Lodermeier and a layup by Arianna Thomforde cut the gap to 37-34 with 6:45 to play before the Wildcats' full-court pressure defense forced back-to-back turnovers that led to fastbreak layups by Thomforde and Torrie Rehder as Goodhue claimed a 38-37 lead with 4:49 to play.

A layup by Greta Hillukka and another 3-pointer by Ahlf gave the Braves a 42-40 lead at the 2:37 mark before a free throw by Ahlf made it 43-40 with 1:19 remaining.

Goodhue completed the comeback as Joslyn Carlson's layup with 1:03 to play and Carlson's free throw with :46 showing tied the game at 43-43. Carlson's layup gave Goodhue a 45-43 advantage with :21 remaining before two free throws by Thomforde with :03 showing sealed the win.

The Wildcats also started the game strong as a pair of layups by Carlson produced a 5-0 lead. Menahga responded with a 17-5 spurt to take a 17-10 lead with 9:48 to play in the first half. A three-point play by Annika Aho, a 3-pointer by Peterson, and a layup and two free throws by Hendrickson tied the game at 9-9 at the 12:55 mark before jumpers by Hendrickson and Peterson and a 3-pointer by Ahlf capped off that run. Aho hit a 3-pointer and Peterson hit a jumper as the Braves led 22-14 with 6:41 to play in the first half.

Two layups by Carlson and layups by Kate Opsahl and Lodermeier tied the game at 22-22. Hendrickson's jumper was offset by a jumper by Lodermeier before Hillukka's jumper gave Menahga a 26-24 halftime lead. The Braves maintained the lead before Goodhue ended the game with a 19-6 run to advance to the title game.

Carlson finished with 17 points while Thomforde added 10 points as the Wildcats improved to 26-6.

Hendrickson's double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists led the Braves. Ahlf also scored 12 points and had eight rebounds as Menahga fell to 30-2.

MENAHGA: A. Peterson 4 0-1 9, M. Peterson 0 0-0 0, T. Hendrickson 5 2-4 12, Ahlf 4 1-2 12, Hillukka 2 0-1 4, Aho 2 1-1 6, Tormanen 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 for 44 (FG), 4 for 9 (FT).

GOODHUE: Opsahl 1 0-0 2, Rehder 1 0-0 2, Thomforde 5 0-0 10, Carlson 6 5-0 17, L. Lodermeier 8 0-0 16, E. Lodermeier 0 0-0 0, Gadient 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 for 46 (FG), 5 for 9 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 26, Goodhue 24. Three-pointers: A. Peterson 1, Ahlf 3, Aho 1. Team fouls: Menahga 19, Goodhue 14. Rebounds: Menahga 35 (T. Hendrickson 11, Ahlf 8, A. Peterson 7, Hillukka 3, Aho 2, M. Peterson 1, Team 3). Assists: Menahga 6 (T. Hendrickson 4, A. Peterson 1, Hillukka 1). Steals: Menahga 6 (A. Peterson 2, Ahlf 2, Hillukka 2). Blocked shots: Menahga 1 (Ahlf). Turnovers: Menahga 19, Goodhue 10.

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