Minneota knew baskets weren't going to come easy, so it put more of an emphasis on its tenacious defense.

The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Vikings held Goodhue to 13 first-half points and cruised to a 40-31 victory in the Class 1A championship Saturday at Williams Arena.

"Our defense really picked up toward the end of the season," Vikings senior center Lydia Sussner said. "Defense is something we take pride in."

No. 3-rated Goodhue shot only 24 percent (11-for-46) from the field, and only made one of its 12 three-point attempts in its bid for a third state title in the past four years.

"You're not going to win a state championship scoring 31 points," Wildcats coach Josh Wieme said. "We didn't hit enough shots."

The Vikings (30-1) used a nine-point run late in the first half to take an 18-9 lead, getting scoring from four players in the spurt.

"If you stay focused and work hard, good things will happen," said Minneota sophomore guard Abby Hennen, who paced the Vikings with 13 points despite only making one shot. She made 10 of 12 free throws.

Goodhue (26-7), seeded second, pulled within 20-16 to open the second half on senior guard Katie Opsahl's three-pointer. Opsahl finished with a game-high 14 points. The Vikings countered with five consecutive points and maintained at least a five-point lead throughout the second half.

"We're not an in-your-face defense, but the girls play smart defensively," Vikings coach Chad Johnston said. "We clogged the lane, so they couldn't drive. Our help defense also did a good job stepping in passing lanes."

Vikings senior Lizzy Gillingham added 11 points.

Minneota, the state's top-ranked team in the preseason, didn't lose to a Minnesota team. Its only setback came against Brandon Valley, S.D., 59-39.

"We knew everybody wanted to beat us all year," said Sussner, part of the Vikings' smothering and swarming defense that limited 6-3 Goodhue senior center Lexie Lodermeier to one basket and six first-half points. "We had a target on our back and handled it really well."

This state title was the Vikings' second, the other coming in 2013.