As the only Class 1A team in the Central Minnesota Conference, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa is used to a physical style of play against bigger teams. Throughout its undefeated season, it was sometimes the only way to survive.
So when Friday’s 56-36 semifinal victory over Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin quickly went from an outside shooting party to a foul fest, Jaguars senior Connor Goodwin was in his element.
“Got some bruises on my hips but I think I’ll live through that,” the 6-7 senior said. “We watched them [Thursday] at Williams Arena and knew they liked to push around. We knew it was going to come to that.”
The unseeded Wolverines (25-5) connected on all five of their three-point attempts in the first half, prompting the top-seed Jaguars (32-0) to switch to a man-on-man defense as halftime approached.
And the pushing began.
There were 34 fouls called in the game. The whistles interrupted flow throughout play and had a lot to do with both teams shooting just 31 percent from the field.
Three Wolverines starters picked up three fouls apiece in the first half. The tentativeness from there spelled their doom: just six points in the second half.
“We wanted to be extra aggressive,” Jaguars coach Dave Montbriand said. “I don’t think we wowed anybody with our shooting, but our defense allowed us to pull away.”
Goodwin led the Jaguars with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Brian Goodwin finished with 15 while Kirby Montbriand and Billy Borgerding each added 10 points.
BRIAN STENSAAS, Star Tribune
Goodwin was a beat in the middle for the Jaguars once again, tallying 18 points and 13 boards while playing extremely efficent defensive inside without getting into foul trouble. Goodwin's interior defense allowed to Jags to outscore the Wolverines 25-5 in the second half.
The Jaguars point guard controlled the tempo the entire game, chalking up 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He did a good job of driving the lane throughout the game, constantly attacking the Wolverine defenders in foul trouble. Simply put, his quickness was too much for Mountain Lake B-O to handle.
Kirk had the best overall performance for the Wolverines, especially on the defensive end. His interior defense helped limit offensive opportunities for the Jags, blocking fiveshots and grabbing five defensive rebounds, seven total. He managed to score 9 points against the stifling B.B.E. defense, which was a highlight considering the Wolverine's only scored five points in the second half
-Alec Kinsky, MN Basketball Hub Staff