Steal. Three-pointer. Block. Layup. Turnover. Layup. Another steal. Another layup.
Hustling Browerville/Eagle Valley cut a 15-point Red Lake lead in the second half to only four. The scenario felt familiar for Warriors' players who lost their past two Class 1A tournament quarterfinal games.
Not this time. No. 5 seed Red Lake held off No. 4 seed Browerville/Eagle Valley for a 66-52 victory Thursday at Williams Arena.
"We're feeling very excited to move on to the Target Center," said sophomore guard Kendall Whitefeather, who led all scorers with 18 points.
Whitefeather hit three of his team's six three-pointers in the first half as Red Lake (27-4) built a 37-26 lead. Browerville/Eagle Valley junior guard Bryce Irsfeld, who led the Eagles (26-3) with 14 points, said his team focused on chipping away in four-minute segments.
When the Eagles got to within 45-41, Irsfeld said he "was feeling pretty confident. But they got the best of us."
Thrilled Red Lake players began celebrating several seconds before the final horn.
"They did a nice job coming back, but we fought through it and moved on," Whitefeather said.
DAVID LA VAQUE
Goodhue 54, Lake Park-Audubon 29: Down one with a little more than seven minutes to play in the first half, No. 3 seed Goodhue went on a 17-4 scoring run to take a 12-point lead at halftime.
"We were hoping that we'd get a run at them," Wildcats coach Matt Halverson said. "Our conditioning and our depth really proved to be the difference."
After halftime Goodhue (23-9) outscored the Raiders 26-13 in the second to clinch the victory. The Raiders (26-5) saw their 22-game winning streak end.
Goodhue capitalized on 13 steals while holding the Raiders to 13-for-33 shooting.
"We're a team of very hard workers, it's a bunch of farm kids," Halverson said. "Defense is work ethic and hard work, and we've got a lot of it."
Three Wildcats scored in double figures, with Ben Opsahl and Ryan Alpers each scoring 13 points.
Goodhue junior center Jacob McNamara had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"We pride ourselves on balance," McNamara said. "Any guy can score in any game, so that's nice when they don't know how to scout us."
Raiders junior center Jesse Bergh scored all but two of his team's points in the second half and finished with a game-high 15 points.
Central Minnesota Christian 50, Mountain Iron-Buhl 32: Thanks to a suffocating defensive performance, the No. 2-seeded Bluejays only needed one big run to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive year.
Central Minnesota Christian stayed back to limit Mountain Iron-Buhl (24-7) in transition, and their half-court defense barely gave the Rangers any room. The Bluejays went on a 13-2 run at the end of the first half to take a comfortable lead.
"I didn't want to limit our offensive rebounding abilities by sending everybody back," Bluejays coach Ted Taatjes said.
"So I always made sure the two guards were back. That meant the bigs had to run the floor hard. [Our defense] was pretty relentless tonight."
The Rangers' press also had success throughout the game and forced 13 first-half turnovers. Central Minnesota Christian (27-3) settled down in the latter stages of the first half, though, and scored 12 consecutive points.
"We definitely had a lot of nerves in the first little beginning there," senior guard Taylor Slagter said.
"We decided to get a little bit more aggressive and attack the press a little bit more and that definitely helped us get high-quality shots."
Slagter, sporting bright tied-dye socks he started wearing in the postseason, had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Teammate Ethan Brouwer added 12 points.
Rangers junior Jaylon Holmes scored a game-high 14.
Minneapolis North 80, St. Clair 27: Though comfortably ahead at halftime, the Polars would not hear of slowing down.
"We were trying not to let them score — trying to break a record," Polars senior guard Pat Dembley said.
A published record for fewest points scored in a state tournament game does not exist but Dembley's point remained clear.
Top-ranked and No. 1 seed Minneapolis North came to play, this being its first state tournament since 2003 when it competed in Class 4A.
Minneapolis North (27-5) opened the second half with a 28-2 run. Pressure defense forced 32 turnovers and held the Cyclones (22-8) to 24 percent shooting for the game.
"We try to force as many turnovers as we can in a game," said Dembley, who led the Polars with eight steals.
Five Polars scored 10 or more points, led by Tyler Johnson and Jamil Jackson Jr. with 14 apiece.
"We love playing an up-tempo type of game," Johnson said. "Teams have tried to slow us down but we have the power to push it back up to the way we like to play."
DAVID LA VAQUE