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Fans pack Jefferson gymnasium one last time

BBE’s Brian Goodwin avoids Browerville’s Cody Hansmeyer on his way to the basket last Friday during an 85-53 victory for the Jaguars. The two teams played the final basketball game in JHS history. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

Fans packed the Jefferson High School gymnasium for the last time last Friday night as Alexandria hosted the Section 5A boys’ basketball championship to accommodate the huge number of fans that came from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Browerville.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at the Crosby-Ironton High School, but they made the switch because the JHS gymnasium can hold up to 2,500 people. The fans did what they promised to do and filled the bleachers as the top-ranked team in Class A gave them quite a show.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa features a loaded roster with star guard Brian Goodwin. The senior passed the 2,000-career point mark in the first half on his way to a 34-point performance. That led the Jaguars to the state tournament as they beat Browerville 85-53.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa took a 28-1 record into the state tournament. The Jaguars’ only loss came against Class AAAA power Apple Valley and Duke signee Tyus Jones.

The win at JHS was the 21st straight victory for the Jaguars. They lost in last year’s Section 6A South semifinals and played like a motivated group that wasn’t going to be denied a chance at its second Class A state title in three years.

Jordan Thielen led Browerville with 18 points, while Cody Hansmeyer finished with 12 for the Tigers. The Jaguars had three players score in double figures as Billy Borgerding had 17 and James Kuefler added 13. It was Goodwin who set the tone in the first half as he was aggressive going to the basket on his way to helping BBE to a 45-22 lead by the break.

“The kids follow him and have complete confidence in him,” BBE coach Dave Montbriand told Jesse Fuchs of the West Central Tribune. “He has a great way of making everybody feel important. We go as he goes and if he plays like he did tonight at state, we’re unstoppable.”

The Jaguars got the top seed in the Class A field at state and opened against Park Christian in the quarterfinals on Thursday in the Class A quarterfinals.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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