There's a reason you do the layup drill before tip-off. There is a good chance you will get some chances over the course of a game.
For No. 1-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (31-0), a layup was commonplace against Lakeview Christian (25-6). The Jaguars continuously worked the ball inside early, then held off a Lions comeback bid for an 85-76 victory in the Class 1A quarterfinals on Thursday at Williams Arena.
Sophomore guard Brian Goodwin scored on layups 2 second apart, the second after stealing the inbounds pass, giving the Jaguars a 36-17 lead with about 5 minutes left in the first half. He finished with a game-high 25 points.
"When I saw an opening, we wanted to expose them," Goodwin said. "I was going to penetrate to all the way to the basket or pass to a teammate."
Senior center Connor Goodwin, who at 6-7 is 3 inches taller than any Lions starter, had 24 points as well as 10 rebounds.
"We knew they played a really loose defense, and could get inside," Connor Goodwin said. The Jaguars finished with 48 points in the paint.
The Jaguars held prolific scorer Anders Broman to 18 points, far below his season average of 44.6 per game. His previous low this season was 30. He shot 5-for-19 against the Jaguars' changing defenses (1-3-1 zone, 3-2 zone, triangle-and two and man-to-man).
"I saw Anders when he scored 71 against Melrose," Jaguars coach Dave Montbriand said. "I was impressed. We just wanted to keep switching defenses on him. We wanted to confuse them."
RON HAGGSTROMMtn. Lake-Butterfield-Odin 73, Browerville 61
Beau Herrig and Carter Kirk were a two-man show for the Wolverines, until crunch time. That's when their teammates from Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin started to get more involved.
Trailing by five in the second half, the Wolverines used a 16-1 run during a six-minute span to advance to the semifinals. This the Wolverines' first appearance in the state tournament since Mountain Lake went in 1952.
"We had to start making them defend every player," Herrig said. Four of the Wolverines' five starters scored during the deciding run. "We couldn't keep having them just trying to stop one or two of us."
The Wolverines (25-5) trailed 52-47 with 10 minutes, 24 seconds remaining. Two minutes later, Kirk's layup gave the Section 2 champions a 53-52 lead. Two free throws by senior guard Cody Penner made it 63-53 with 4:07 left.
Herrig had 30 points and 15 rebounds while Kirk finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Penner had 15 points.
"We were able to keep our composure," Herrig said. "We also played good team defense."
Senior center Seth Christensen, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, led Browerville (27-3).
RON HAGGSTROMSouthwest Minnesota Christian 59, Fosston 41
The Greyhounds weren't going to get beat by Southwest Minnesota Christian senior center Zach Huisken. The Eagles were going to have to find an alternative. They have the weapons to do so.
In spite of the 6-9 Huisken constantly being surrounded when he touched the ball, No. 2-rated Southwest Minnesota Christian (27-1) went on a 17-2 run in the first half to overcome an early six-point deficit, and it never looked back in cruising past Fosston (24-5).
"We have an inside-outside game," said Huisken, who had only four points (he averages 18.9 a game) at halftime when the Eagles led 29-17. "We have a very unselfish team."
They opened the second half with a 15-2 run, stretching the margin to 44-19. Huisken scored 11 of his team-high 15 points after intermission. The Eagles had six players with at least six points.
"The one thing that never changes for us is our defense," Huisken said. "It kept getting stronger and stronger."
RON HAGGSTROMRushford-Peterson 74, Prairie Seeds 68
Behind by 12 points in the first half, No. 3-seeded Rushford-Peterson came back to defeat Prairie Seeds Academy in a back-and-forth game.
"We came out a little slow," senior forward Nick Thompson said of Rushford-Peterson. "We knew they were going to give pressure on us and press a little, but we stuck with it and came out in the second half and put them away."
Prairie Seeds, making its first trip to state, had no answer for Thompson, who had a game-high 34 points, hit five three-pointers and went 13-for-16 at the line.
Rushford coach Thomas Vix said Thompson "had just a tremendous senior year, and he did it again tonight.'' The coach called him "probably the best shooter I've ever coached."
Prairie Seeds' physical presence resulted in a 21-14 rebound advantage going into the break. The Lycans went on a 26-8 run to extend their largest lead to 12.
The Trojans ended the half on a 9-0 run, cutting Prairie Seeds' lead to three.
Both teams came out firing in the second half before Thompson's steal at the 10:47 mark led to a layup while drawing a foul. That gave Rushford a 44-41 advantage and the lead for good. Freshman Cole Kingsley scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half to help Rushford-Peterson advance.