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Goodhue comes up short against No. 3 seed Fertile-Beltrami in Class 1A state quarterfinals

Mar. 21—MINNEAPOLIS — Goodhue just didn't have an answer for Caiden Swenby.

Swenby, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 23 points to lead No. 3 seed Fertile-Beltrami past unseeded Goodhue in quarterfinal play of the Class 1A state boys basketball tournament on Thursday at Target Center.

Swenby took over with the game on the line in the second half. With the contest tied at 42 with 9 minutes and 30 seconds to play, Swenby scored 10 straight points for the Falcons as they took a 52-45 lead with 4:00 left.

Fertile-Beltrami then scored its last 12 points at the line, as Goodhue had to foul down the stretch, to dash the Wildcats' championship hopes with a 64-57 victory.

"I think he's just a really good ball handler and when we didn't isolate one-on-one with our defender, he would somehow draw a foul or hit a pull-up jumper," Goodhue senior Jed Ryan said. "He was just really hard to guard."

Swenby was able to slither inside a number of times against the Goodhue defense in the second half, when he scored 20 of his 23 points.

"We would kind of get him into a spot where we thought he was dead, but he's nifty enough to take that extra step and take that finger-roll shot that you can't really block and defend," Goodhue coach Matt Halverson said. "He's very good."

The youthful Wildcats, who were 11-12 at one point, had won seven of their past eight games to reach the state tournament. Goodhue earned a state berth with two seniors, two sophomores and an eighth-grader in the starting lineup.

"The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but we're still going to make the best of it," Ryan said. "We're still going to have a good trip and bond with the team."

The Wildcats were close to pulling off an upset.

The game was still tight in the final two minutes. When eighth-grade Alex Loos hit a 3-pointer with 1:39 left, Goodhue was down just 54-51 before the Falcons sealed the win at the line.

The big shots that Goodhue made to get past Blooming Prairie in the Section 1 championship game just didn't fall against Fertile-Beltrami. Halverson said he thought the Wildcats had good looks.

"The matchup was a challenge and you have to credit them for making shots and we just didn't," Halverson said. "If we start making shots then maybe all of a sudden that script flips and we have a four-point lead."

Goodhue, which doesn't have a starter over 6-1, has been at a size disadvantage all season. And that was the case again on Thursday.

Fertile-Beltrami held a 39-32 advantage on the boards and used its size to alter Goodhue shots. Preston Hanson, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, finished with five blocked shots for the Falcons.

"We just didn't make the shots that we usually do," Goodhue sophomore Luke Roschen said. "We had a really tough outing inside. We couldn't seem to find the bottom of the next, everything seemed to go in and out."

Swenby had 12 rebounds to go with his 23 points while Hanson had 19 points and 11 boards for the Falcons. Fertile-Beltrami's size gave Goodhue trouble, especially on the defensive end.

"When the offense is hard to come by, maybe it alters your defense," Halverson said. "Then they're going down and we're fouling and that takes away the Mojo that we could have had from a made shot."

Roschen led Goodhue with 18 points and he collected seven rebounds while Loos chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Goodhue made 19 of 54 shots from the floor (35.2%) while the Falcons hit 18 of 46 shots (39.1%).

"Ultimately we just didn't shoot very well and I think that showed," Ryan said.

Fertile-Beltrami (26-6) will face No. 2 West Central Area (27-3) in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Friday at Williams Arena. The title game is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Williams Arena.

Goodhue (18-14) falls into the consolation bracket and will play in the semifinals at Noon, Friday at Concordia College in St. Paul. The winner plays in the fifth-place game at 8 a.m. Saturday at Concordia.

Halverson said the play of the boys and girls basketball teams have rallied the Goodhue community during the 2023-24 winter sports season. The Goodhue girls won the Class 1A state championship. And while the boys won't win a title, the Wildcats still have a shot at placing fifth.

"We have a young team so this is good for everyone to learn how physical the state tournament is," Roschen said. "We get a good experience and every team's goal is to be back here next year, too. Hopefully we're not done here and can win out these next couple of games."

Goodhue/Fertile Beltrami complete boxscore

Fertile-Beltrami 64, Goodhue 57

GOODHUE (57)

Gavin Schafer 2 P; Jed Ryan 3 P; Luke Roschen 18 P, 7 R, 2 3-PT; Michael Roschen 9 P, 6 R, 1 3-PT; Alex Loos 16 P, 7 R, 4 3-PT; Owen Roschen 9 P, 4 A.

No. 3 FERTILE-BELTRAMI (64)

Derek Sorenson 11 P; 2 3-PT; Masen Nowacki 7 P, 1 3-PT; Caden Swenby 23 P, 12 R, 4 A; Preston Hanson 19 P, 11 R, 5 BK, 3 3-PT; Cody Opdahl 9 P; Easton Petry 2 P.

Halftime: FB 30, GOOD 28.

Free throws: GOOD 11-15, FB 22-31. Field goals: GOOD 19-54, FB 18-46.

Three-point goals: GOOD 8-21, FB 6-11. Rebounds: GOOD 32, FB 39. Turnovers: GOOD 10, FB 12.