MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Connor Goodwin knew his younger brother Brian would one day shine on the basketball court. He just didn’t think it’d be this soon.
Brian Goodwin scored 29 points to lead Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa to a 54-45 win over Southwest MinnesotaChristian in the Class 1A championship game on Saturday afternoon.
It’s the first state title for the Jaguars (33-0) and the Goodwin brothers. It’s also the third time an undefeated team has captured the 1A title since Minnesotawent to four classes in 1997.
“Brian Goodwin, what can you say about him?” Belgrade coach Dave Montbriand said. “He’s the type of guy you need to win a state championship. Our main offense really was Brian Goodwin getting to the basket. That was the difference in the game.”
Zach Huisken led Southwest MinnesotaChristian (30-2) with 18 points. The Eagles led 30-26 at halftime, but couldn’t overcome 11 second-half turnovers and 22 in the game.
Connor Goodwin, who averaged over 17 points and 10 rebounds in the regular season, was held to just eight points and 10 rebounds. But the older brother was more than content to watch his younger brother slash his way to the basket over and over again.
“Brian stepped up and played great for a sophomore,” said Connor, a senior who will play college ball at Wisconsin-Superior. “He’s littler than me and he’s quick. He’d always steal it from me whenever I’d try to dribble in the backyard growing up.”
The Jaguars led 42-34 with 8:16 to play in the second half, but watched their lead disappear in the next three minutes.
Brian Goodwin scored eight points down the stretch, including a jumper with three minutes left to put Belgrade up 46-45. Belgrade never trailed again.
“Just knowing that we came out on top, undefeated, it just feels great,” Brian Goodwin said.
It’s the first state title in any sport for Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, a school located in central Minnesotain Stearns County. The Jaguars were runners-up last season, falling to Springfield in the championship.
They beat Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin in the semifinals despite shooting just 31 percent.
“We used last year’s loss as motivation and came out prepared,” Brian Goodwin said. “I just tried to come out, play my game, see what happens.”
Southwest MinnesotaChristian point guard Klint Knutson got in foul trouble early and fouled out with 8:16 left in the game. Despite Huisken’s best efforts in the paint, the Eagles couldn’t hold on to their brief second-half lead.
“Klint makes a big difference for us,” Eagles coach Jamie Pap said. “He’s our leader on the guard front, putting pressure on the ball on everything.”
Southwest MinnesotaChristian won four straight state championships from 1999 to 2002. Pap was on the team for the first title.
But this day belonged to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and the Goodwin family.
“I can tell you it’s absolutely fantastic,” said Brad Goodwin, an assistant coach and the father of Connor and Brian. “I couldn’t be happier.”
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