Minneota earns second girls state basketball championship since 2013

Minneota finished two places higher from the previous season following a 40-31 victory over Goodhue in the Class A championship game on Saturday, March 16 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. The top-seeded Vikings (30-1), who placed third during the 2018 state tournament, won the Class A crown for the second time since 2013. In 2014, Minneota was the runner-up in the Class A field.

Sophomore guard Abby Hennen and senior forward Lizzy Gillingham provided the one-two punch for the Vikings with 13 and 11 points, respectively, as Minneota completed an undefeated season against Minnesota teams. The Vikings’ only loss was a 59-39 setback to Brandon Valley, a school in South Dakota. Hennen and Gillingham scored four points each in the final two minutes to help keep Goodhue at bay. Junior forward Morgan Hennen played a strong supporting role with five points, eight rebounds and five assists. Senior center Lydia Sussner had six points, six rebounds and three assists.

Goodhue (26-7), the Class A champion in 2016 and 2017, was unable to add to its collection of championship trophies. Instead, the Wildcats finished runner-up for the second time since 2010. Senior guard Kate Opsahl had 14 points and four rebounds for the Wildcats. Sophomore guard Arianna Thomforde and senior center Lexie Lodermeier contributed six points each. Goodhue trailed throughout and struggled with Minneota’s pressure defense in the low-scoring game.

Minneota built a 20-13 lead at the break behind a balanced attack that was led by sophomore guard Abby Hennen, who had seven points and four rebounds. Senior guard Morgan Kockelman and senior center Lydia Sussner chipped in four each for the Vikings who led by as many as nine points in the final minutes of the first half. Senior center Lexie Lodermeier had six points and four rebounds in the first half for Goodhue.