Kenzie Broadwater dribbles down the court.
SAM CLEMENS/NEWS LEADER Kenzie Broadwater dribbles down the court.
So close, and yet so far. That pretty much sums up the end result in the Section 1A championship game between Fillmore Central and Goodhue played last Friday night before a revved-up Falcon crowd. However, the final score of 64-42 in favor of the Wildcats doesn’t tell the whole story.

“The girls were really fired up for this matchup. It was that energy and attitude that helped us jump out to a fast start in the first half. At one point in the first half we hit back to back threes to force Goodhue to take a timeout. At that moment the girls were very fired up, the fans were fired up, and it was an exciting atmosphere to play in,” said coach Levi Olstad. “Goodhue came out in the second half and showed why they were the top seed and defending state champs. They made good adjustments, started creating more pressure on defense and took us out of our rhythm. I can’t take anything away from Goodhue, they were able to play a full game and we ran out of gas in the second half.

“I am very proud of our girls, they worked hard all season, received the fifth seed, and competed in the post season with a sub-section championship, and a section runner-up to finish off the season. The end is never easy, but these girls should be very proud of themselves and their accomplishments.”

That time out Olstad referred to was at the midway point of the first half, 8:55 to be exact, after three-point baskets by Paige Bennett and Tayah Barnes. At that time Fillmore Central was ahead 21-13. Momentum definitely shifted after the time-out with the Wildcats outscoring the Lady Falcons 16-6 to take a 29-27 lead into the intermission.

In that first half, Barnes was perfect at the free throw line, five for five, and near perfect in her field goal shooting, as she led the Falcons with 16 points. Barnes finished the game with 20 points, tied for game-high with McKenzie Ryan of Goodhue.

Only four players scored for Fillmore Central. Kendyl Bennett added six points to her total in the second half and finished the game with 10, Paige Bennett had seven for the game and Alleigh Meyer contributed five points in her first start of the season.

Kenzie Broadwater didn’t score in the game, but had six rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the game. Barnes added a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and four steals to her 20 points, to get this reporter’s “player of the game” award for Fillmore Central. Meyer had three rebounds, as did Kendyl Bennett and Paige Bennett.

The gals trailed by just three points at the 14:46 mark of the second half, but a 17-0 run by Goodhue put the game out of reach for the Lady Falcons.

Fillmore Central finished the season with a 17-13 record, 3-1 in tournament play, 8-9 in the Three Rivers Conference, and 14-12 for the regular season. A season to be very proud of.