Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa has won one Class 1A championship in the past four seasons and has gone 118-4 during that stretch.
The quest for No. 2 — and just the second state championship in school history — resumes at 11 a.m. Thursday when the team plays Park Christian (22-9) in the state quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
The top-seeded Jaguars (28-1) are riding a 21-game winning streak, which started after a loss to Class 4A power Apple Valley on Dec. 28. The team is looking to make up for a disappointing loss in the section semifinals last season, after winning the state title in 2012 and finishing in second in 2011.
“That was always in the back of our minds,” senior Brian Goodwin said of last year’s section loss. “That always kept us going.”
Goodwin, a 6-4 point guard, leads the team in scoring with 24 points per game and tallied his 2,000th career point last Friday. He is one of nine seniors on the team.
“This is a really talented group that’s just played a lot of ball together since the third grade,” coach Dave Montbriand said of the class. “You could see that they were going to be something special a long time ago.”
The seniors don’t appear to feel any additional pressure. Senior Billy Borgerding said the team plans on taking the tournament one game at a time.
“We just need to play our style of ball, do what we do and hopefully our defense is on that day and we can hit some shots,” he said.
Nate Gotlieb is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.