The Goodhue Wildcats missed more free throws than they made Thursday night in a 57-48 loss to Spring Grove for the Section 1A Championship.

The Wildcats were down 18 points with about 5 minutes left in the game when they slapped a full court press on and cut the Lions lead to 2 points with just over 3 minutes to go.

Goodhue was the top seed, rated #1 in the state by Minnesota Basketball News in their final poll of the 2023 season.

The Lions were ranked #7 in that poll.

Spring Grove regrouped and hit their free throws down the stretch to score the victory and advance to next week's MSHSL Boys State Basketball Tournament.

KDHL Radio will be providing our 75th year of Baseline-to-Baseline coverage in the Twin Cities.  Roy Koenig and I will be there for a couple games Tuesday and Wednesday before all the semifinals and title games take place Thursday through Friday on the Mighty 920.

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Goodhue led 2-0 only to see Spring Grove take a double-digit lead early in the game.  The Wildcats had to feel fortunate to be down by just 7 points at the half 24-17.

The Lions played a half-court trap that slowed down Goodhue and then packed the lane to make it difficult to attack the basket.

Goodhue had no three-point baskets at the half while Spring Grove hit 4.

The Lions were Hoosiers like on offense with multiple passes most possessions.  They had 9 field goals in the first half, The Wildcats 8 field goals.

Goodhue came into the game with a 65.7 points per game scoring average.  Spring Grove averaged 65 points per game on offense.

During that approximately two-minute stretch in the second half Spring Grove had trouble getting the ball inbounded with turnover after turnover resulting in the nearly epic comeback.

Will Opsahl, senior, 6'7 guard had 7 of Goodhue's 11 second half field goals as he turned steals into points during the incredible onslaught.  Opsahl finished with 28 points.

Free throws were the difference in the game.  The Lions were 17 of 21 and the Wildcats 6 of 18 from the so-called charity stripe.

In the second half Spring Grove was 15 of 19 including a 14 for 14 performance in the final minutes.  Goodhue went 5 for 15 in the second half.

Elijah Solum, junior, 6'1 led Spring Grove with 21 points, 12 in the first half and after going 1 of 5 to start the game hit his final 4 free throws which are anything but free.

Tyler Grinde, senior, 6'3 son of Head Coach Wade Grinde tallied 14 points and Jaxon Strinmoen added 12 for the Lions.

Former Rushford-Peterson Head Coach Tom Vix has been assisting his good friend the last few years in an effort to get Spring Grove to state.  Vix went to state many times at Rushford-Peterson with multiple state titles.

Spring Grove advanced to State in 2019.  Their only other trip.

Goodhue was hoping for their 5th time at the big dance as they call it.

In the Section 1AA game Plainview-Elgin-Millville upended Lake City 58-55 in a great high school basketball game.

Here are other Section Tournament results from Thursday action.

Section 3A:  Russell Tyler-Ruthton 63  Dawson-Boyd 55

Section 3AAA:  DeLaSalle 65  St. Thomas Academy 48

Section 4AAA:  Totino-Grace 77  Mahtomedi 46

Section 5AAA:  St. Francis 59  Princeton 58  (overtime)

Section 6AAA:  Orono 66  Benilde-St. Margaret's  62

Section 7AAA:  Hermantown 70  Duluth Denfeld 59

Section 8AAA:  Alexandria Area 56  St. Cloud Tech 44  (earlier this week)

Section 3AA:  Eden Valley-Watkins 75  Redwood Valley 72 (earlier this week)

Section 3AAAA:  Eastview 63  Eagan  36

Section 4AAAA:  White Bear Lake Area 57  East Ridge 55

Section 6AAAA:  Wayzata 71  Hopkins 66 (earlier this week)

Section 7AAAA:  Andover 106  Cambridge-Isanti  79

The remainder of Section titles will be determined Friday night including at 6:00 p.m. in Rochester Winona against Stewartville for 1AAA.

At 8:00 p.m. Lakeville North and Lakeville South go toe to toe in Rochester.

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